Our Singaporean distributor, Lighthouse Pictures, and us had many laughs recounting the many ways our Singaporean friends mispronounced "Sepet" and "Gubra".
"Sepet" wasn't that bad. We had "Septet", "Sepat", and "Sepit".
"Gubra", on the other hand, was stretched to unforeseeable limits.
It all started with our subtitler referring to it as "Galupa" (sounds fishy, no?). This was quickly followed by "Gupta" (possible title for a Bollywood remake?), "Garuda" (to be sponsored by Indonesia's national airline?), and finally, "Jeebra" (to be shot in Kenya and in black and white, perhaps?)
So when we were discussing the possibility of working again on "Mukhsin", they politely suggested that we might perhaps consider an English title for Singapore and for the rest of the world.
We went through several titles.
We had "Where Tears Come From" (which frankly was too adult, given the subject matter), "My Best Friend Mukhsin" (which I felt sounded too much like "My Best Friend's Wedding"), and just "My Best Friend" (which is too similar to Herzog's "My Best Fiend", but not as clever).
Then it occured to me that somewhere in the course of the story, someone reads this 17th century poem which begins with, "The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you..."
And there it was. In that first sentence of that beautiful poem. "My First Love Story".
I like it because you can actually read it two ways. It's either My FIRST LOVE Story, or it could also be My First LOVE STORY. It can either be something she actually went through, or something she had heard about. One is love fulfilled, the other unfulfilled.
So, fine. My friend from "Lighthouse Pictures" seems to like it.
Now, the question is this: Do you, my friends, think that I should also change the Malaysian title from "Mukhsin" to "My First Love Story"?
Of course, I could always re-name it to "Mukhsin. My First Love Story." But do we feel it's too much like Peter Chan's "Comrades. Almost A Love Story."?