Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fan Chan dubbed in Indonesia

The hit 2003 Thai childhood friendship story, Fan Chan (My Girl) is being dubbed in Bahasa Indonesian as Cinta Pertama (First Love), according to the Jakarta Post.

For the first time ever, the article says, a foreign film has been adapted into a Bahasa Indonesia-dubbed version with local songs.

It's the latest project by Fiesta Films, an Indonesian firm that has distributed other Thai films like Shutter, The Eye and Iron Ladies.

"The film's background has a lot of similarities with Indonesian culture, and we believe the film's moral message can touch all audiences. This is why we dared to take this project onboard," Devi Luciana, PR representative of Fiesta Films, was quoted as saying. "Not all films can be adapted to fit Indonesian audiences."

When Fiesta bought rights to the film in 2003, Fiesta's sister company Musica Group, with its extensive library of Indonesian music, made an offer to collaborate on making an adaptation with an Indonesian soundtrack.

The next step was to find the right adaptation director -- and this was when Rizal Mantovani entered. "He's passionate about films, very frank and keen to give suggestions to make the adaptation better and better," Devi told the Post.

The Indonesian script uses colloquial language, including the lingo of Indonesian gradeschoolers.

Some of the choices for voice actors are surprising. For instance, the voice of the big bully Jack, was dubbed by a woman.

"I had a hard time finding the voice of Jack, a pivotal character that had to be handled delicately," Rizal was quoted as saying. "Eventually, a woman actor was chosen as the perfect voice for Jack. As long as the audience finds nothing wrong with the voices, then I think we did our job right."

The use of Indonesian music from the era the film is set in, also give First Love a different flavor. From 1975's "Jatuh Cinta" by Emilia Contesa to Chrisye's "Hip Hip Hura Hura" and to "Ku Menanti" by Iwan Fals, the songs are undoubtedly an homage to Indonesian pop songs of the 1980s and 1990s, the Post says.

Anyone curious about the original Thai version of the film, it's available from various Hong Kong mail-order houses with Thai and Chinese soundtracks and English subtitles.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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