I am no film critic but honestly KIL is the much needed breath of life for the current Malaysian cinema.
The cinematography was breathtaking (even suicide attempts look beautiful… really), the unravelling of the plot revealed several unsuspected turns and the development of the characters left me crying in the last few scenes.
For those not in the know, KIL is the latest film by Nik Amir Mustapha, with Redza Minhat and Cristina Suzanne playing the two main protagonists, Akil and Zara. In a nutshell, Akil attempts suicide on several occasions, going so far as to hire assassins, only to rediscover a taste for life upon meeting Zara. It sounds like a typical love story… but it’s not. Watch the trailer yourself:
Although the film does not include any religious elements in it (in fact, there was a scene where a man nonchalantly mentions that Akil could go clubbing before death knocks on his door), to me the whole theme of appreciating life through the remembrance of death is something that we take lightly all the time.
When a person passes away, do we not say Inna lillah wa inna ilaihi rajiuun? From Allah we come and to Allah we return? For whose benefit do we say that? Ourselves, of course.
When we go to sleep each night, we are all essentially returning to Him. It is only by His grace that we are able to face a new day tomorrow. And yet, even though each day is theoretically our last, we guzzle our time away doing things that are of no benefit to others, what more ourselves.
In the film, there was a scene where an assassin was standing over another man (not Akil). The man, who initially hired the assassin himself, quivered in his seat and practically begged for his life – “I am not ready to die.”
That line left a sharp pang in my heart as I remembered a verse from surah Al-Fajr:
And on that Day hell will be brought; on that Day man will remember [all that he did and failed to do]: but what will that remembrance avail him? He will say, “Oh, would that I had provided beforehand for my life [to come]!”
How’s that for regret?
People who are aware of their limited time in this world – like the terminally ill – tend to live each day to the fullest. They naturally prioritize all the important things in life like their relationship with God, with those they love and with society as a whole.
Perhaps it is time that we realize, as Akil does, that death is not something within our control. And once we realize that, perhaps every single one of us can work towards remembering death in order to remember the very purpose of our lives.
By only remembering death can we truly live.
P/s. Watching KIL somehow reminded me of the late Yasmin Ahmad. Al-Fatihah.