Friday, August 15, 2008

What’s up, doc?
Ampang Medikal, Malaysian’s version of Grey’s Anatomy, looks at the trials and tribulations of a group of doctors. SHARMILA BILLOT writes.

NEW local medical drama Ampang Medikal, depicting the highs and lows of doctors and interns could be classified as Malaysia’s own version of Grey’s Anatomy. This 13-episode joint production between Primeworks Studious Sdn Bhd and Niche Films sees Rusdiana Rusdi in the lead role and newcomer Fadzlie Rahim as the male lead. They appear alongside established names such as Nur Aliah Lee, Azhar Sulaiman, Ngasrizal Ngasri, Julia Ziegler and Louisa Chong.

The series centres on Dr Siti dan Dr Melissa, two interns with contrasting personalities but share a deep friendship with each other. “I play intern Dr Siti and become good friends with Dr Melissa when I moved from Penang to Kuala Lumpur,” said Rusdiana in an interview recently.

“I’m a serious and conservative person who shares a close bond with my dad who has heart problems. “The drama tackles a variety of problems like falling in love, heartaches, divorce and cheating.

“My love interest is the handsome Dr Jeffrey and I also have a fiance back in Penang. So I’m stuck in quite a dilemma,” she added.

On the role as a medical practitioner, Rusdiana says it can be quite challenging as they have to memorise all the medical terms and watch videos of certain procedures before they act it out.

In Ampang Medikal, they also go beyond offering medical assistance. In one of the episodes, a man was dying of cancer and has not seen his only son since he was small. “We actually took the initiative to locate the son and to try to get him to see his dad for the last time.

“They are some heart-touching moments in the series that makes it all the more a great show to catch,” said Rusdiana. Just like in Grey’s, Ampang Medikal has its version of McSteamy where ladies’ man, Dr Jeffrey, is played by Fadzlie.

“I’m the flamboyant, rich kid who takes women for granted,” he said.

“I’m totally the opposite of the character I play in the series. At first it was difficult to get into my role as I’m a shy and reserved person and I definitely didn’t belong in the flirty category”.

“My first scene was getting out of bed with a girl beside me. It was quite the scene to start off from. Well now I roughly know what’s it like to be a player,” he added with laughter. Much respected and admired by the medical fraternity is Dr Maznah, played by Nur Aliah, an established cardiologist.

While she appears to be totally in control of her professional life, her personal life is in chaos. After discovering her husband’s infidelity, a messy divorce ensues. Meanwhile neurologist Dr Amir played by Azhar makes a move on the newly single Dr Maznah.

“The show is not just about doctors and their lives but it’s also about friendship, family values, love and tragedies that we all go through together,” said Nur Aliah.

Ampang Medikal, also featuring Jag Dave Singh, premieres over ntv7 on Aug 21 at 8.30pm.

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