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Caught in the trap of jealousy

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The cast of “The Jealousy“ celebrates the premier of their film with renowed director Bopha. Som Kanika

Renowned female director and screenwriter Poan Phoung Bopha once again creates a story that all Cambodians can relate to. In her new film ‘The Jealousy’, Bopha bravely tackles a sensitive issue that has been hindering the ‘happy ever after’ of every romantic relationship. Som Kanika watches the film on its premier night.

With several locally-produced films getting international spotlight in the past months, there’s no doubt 2018 is the year for Cambodian artistry. And even if we’re down to the last few days before another year starts, another film is creating abuzz – locally for now.

At the Major Cineplex in Aeon Mall last week, respected film director and screenwriter Poan Phoung Bopha showed once again what a real Khmer film should be – deep, brilliant and relevant.

The female filmmaker led the premier of her new movie, “The Jealousy”, along with film stars So Chani, Keo Sreyneng and Tim Rotha.

“As a gift for the upcoming new year, I want to bring a new achievement of mine to the big screen, which is a fresh film that will bring you a story of infatuated romance of couples that gets complicated by issues of trust or the lack of it,” the acclaimed female director said in an opening speech.

“The Jealousy is a romantic film. But it delves deeper into other aspects of life and love. You will get to experience many emotions while watching the movie. There’s a phase of loss, a period of isolation and a moment of re-discovering trust for oneself and for others – all these in one film.”

Bopha, considered a veteran in her field for her 30 years of hard work and creativity in the film industry, produced many remarkable films such as “Good Husband”, “The 25-year-old Girl” and “The Mother’s Heart”. She also directed several TV drama series and feature-length films.

With “The Jealousy”, Bopha wants to introduce a fresh take on obsessive romantic stories.

“The Jealousy“director and screenwriter Poan Phoung Bopha (left) and one of the film’s stars, Keo Sreyneng. Photo: Som Kanika

“The Jealousy” follows the story of a supermodel, whom people think is living a luxurious and blissful life. Unknown to most, the protagonist is full of trauma as her husband stalks her and intervenes with her privacy because of mistrust. When she can’t contain her pain anymore, she asks for a divorce. She vows to never fall in love again. But things – and her life – get messed up again after she meets another man. Every wall she has built to protect her heart comes crumbling down, and her fears once again emerge.

“My core inspiration in writing this movie began when I’ve known of a true story of a couple. Their lives got ruined by issues of jealousy. The story that she shared and the courage the she had shown to start a new life after getting involved in a complicated relationship encouraged me to write it and make it into a film,” said Bopha.

But the celebrated filmmaker also noted that although the film tackles a serious, sensitive and controversial theme, “The Jealousy” also has a touch of humour and fun, as most Cambodians love movies that still exude joy and positivity despite their critical storylines.

And Bopha was right. After the credits rolled up on the silver screen, everyone in the theater clapped and laughed, a proof that Cambodia now has another masterpiece worth watching and worth talking about.

The movie also reveals that true love is all about giving full trust to one another. The value that you give to your significant other is as precious as the love you share. The movie clearly pictures how jealousy and mistrust kill everything – friendship, love and morals.

Several celebrities also showed their support during the premier night of the film. Actress Mean Sonita applauded Bopha’s new film for its bravery in creating a movie that portrays the truth about the other side of love.

“I was really looking forward to seeing the movie because I know Ms Bopha created something that’s really interesting. This movie surely did give the viewers a new experience.”

“The Jealousy” is now showing in Major Cineplex, Legend Cinemas and Prime Cineplex Cambodia nationwide.


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