10 Reasons Why 'Ola Bola' Is THE Movie To Watch Even If You're Not A Football Fan
1. Despite dwindling interest in local films, those who have previewed 'Ola Bola' only had high praise for the movie. Just ask our Seismik writer!
2. After all, the film is helmed by Chiu Keng Guan, who directed the record-breaking 'The Journey' and Chinese New Year favourites 'Woohoo' and 'A Great Day'
'The Journey', released in 2014, became the highest grossing film in Malaysia's box office after amassing a gross of RM17.28 million and beating out the previous record holder 'KL Gangster' (RM11.74 million).
FUN FACT: Chiu was once a highly notable striker representing his school team.
3. The plot may be fictional, but director Chiu revealed that certain parts in the film are actually based on a monumental real event in Malaysian football history
Set in the 1980s, 'Ola Bola' drew influence from the Harimau Malaya's glory days of the 1970s and that time they qualified for the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia.
4. Not a football fan? No matter, 'Ola Bola' features a multicultural cast every Malaysian can relate to, each with their own personal struggles and conflicting personalities that threaten to tear the team apart...
5. Ultimately, it's their united love for football that teaches them a thing or two about the importance of teamwork and overcoming their differences to achieve the same goal. It's something we can learn from too!
6. Also, watch it for the eye candy and glorious manes. ;)
Most of the actors, including the leads, are newbies to the entertainment industry. Even better, all the actors involved with the football team do know how to play football!
Luqman Hafidz won Best Player in the Khairy Jamaluddin Cup 2014 and clinched the role thanks to a selfie with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Saran Kumar, who plays a goalkeeper in the movie, was a defender on his school team.
7. If you're a fan of YouTuber Marianne Tan, you'll be seeing her in her first ever major film role!
Tan plays a young producer who has grown disillusioned with her working in life in Malaysia, until she decides to take on a final assignment before she leaves for greener pastures in England.
8. Behind-the-scenes, a lot of work was put into making the locations and shots look authentic to its time setting
'Ola Bola' was filmed in various locations in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak, Penang, Johor, and Sabah including historical landmarks such as Stadium Merdeka, Victoria Institution, the train ride between Beaufort and Tenom, and the lush greenscapes of Broga Hill in Selangor. An actual '80s-style carnival - complete with a Ferris wheel, carousel and game stalls - was also constructed for the film.
Keeping to its '80s theme, visual effects were extensively used in stadium scenes and in digitally erasing contemporary landmarks to resemble cityscapes of the era.
9. The attention to detail was also extended to growing the characters' backstories and personalities, with veteran sports personalities serving as consultants for the director and cast
Renowned sports commentator Abdullah Hasim coached Bront Palarae on the finer points of sports commentary, while Saran was trained by former national goalkeeper Wong Kam Fook.
Director Chiu also spoke with national football legends such as Datuk Soh Chin Aun, Datuk Santokh Singh, Bakri Ibni, James Wong, and Hassan Sani about their experiences on and off the pitch. He also met with Karl-Heinz Weigang, who coached the Malaysian football team in 1980 and of whom the character Harry Mountain is based upon.
10. Watch it for Malaysian pride. Watch it to remind ourselves that we, Malaysians, can achieve anything as long as we unite. #MalaysiaBoleh
'Ola Bola' is set to kick off in cinemas nationwide from 28 January 2016 onwards