Movie won’t exploit MH370 tragedy, says director

Critics have lashed out at Rupesh Paul’s planned movie for disrespecting the families of the 239 passengers and crew of MH370 still grappling with the tragedy. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Critics have lashed out at Rupesh Paul’s planned movie for disrespecting the families of the 239 passengers and crew of MH370 still grappling with the tragedy. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — The director of the Hollywood movie, Vanishing Act, has said that he is not cashing in on the publicity over the missing Flight MH370.

Rupesh Paul told The Star in an email interview that the movie, based on a theory pitched by an anonymous Malaysian journalist, "will not affect" families of those on board the aircraft, which disappeared after leaving the Malaysia on March 8.

His company, Rupesh Paul Productions, has been promoting a trailer of the movie to investors, at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival in France.

According to the newspaper, Paul said the film will be a thriller.

The movie has been heavily opposed as soon as the trailer was uploaded on YouTube.

"When you make movies for such an audience, no one knows what they may or may not like.

"As for me, I have received more love than backlash from the people. In fact, overwhelming love," he said, as quoted by the newspaper.

Critics have lashed out at the planned movie for disrespecting the families of the 239 passengers and crew of MH370 grappling with the tragedy, but the director brushed it aside saying that he was no stranger to controversy and box office flops and that he was committed "to remain an artist at any cost".

"My first movie, The Temptations Between My Legs, was denied a censor’s certificate.

"Later, one of my films, My Mother’s Laptop, was a failure at the box-office.

"I think that failures taught me more. I re-evaluated my techniques at narration, screen-play and direction," he had said.

According to a report by Hollywood industry magazine Variety on Sunday, Paul presented his film idea to financiers with a 90-second teaser trailer.

The trailer features a cast of terrified passengers aboard a turbulent jetliner.

Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radars with 239 passengers and crew on March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

No physical trace of the aircraft has been found in what has become largest international search mission the world has seen in the history of modern aviation disasters.

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