you visit the cinema frequently enough, you should be
familiar with the phrase “Any resemblance to persons
living or dead is purely coincidental”, which appears
at the end of the movie.
We are telling you this: do not always believe that
disclaimer. At least, the statement is probably not
true for Malaysian director Bernard Chauly’s second
feature film Goodbye Boys.
At a recent press screening for the movie, not only
did members of the press enjoy the sentimental 88-minute
picture, Chauly’s friends were heard guffawing
at many scenes in the movie – a sign that they
were probably laughing at someone they knew.
The story follows eight young Ipoh scouts on a 5-day
100-km expedition, where maturity, trust and friendships
are tested. The one thing unifying them is the process
of growing from boys to men.
a semi-autobiography,” is the only thing Chauly
would tell us during a post-screening party held at
The Picturehouse Lounge. It wasn’t too difficult
matching his friends who were also present to the characters
portrayed in the movie.
happy to have the opportunity to make this film, and
while it may be personal to me, I hope it is a universal
story as well,” adds the eloquent 33-year-old.
While Chauly’s debut film Gol and Gincu (Goalposts
and Lipsticks) in 2005 was set against an urban backdrop
in Kuala Lumpur and dripping with girl-power, he wanted
to write something about boys in a rural setting. Over
a glass of wine with his producer, it was decided that
he shall write something, and she shall go source for
funding for his second work.
Chauly recalls the production period and says it like
a typical blockbuster tagline: “Five days of shoot.
66 locations. 150 scenes.
the whole process also includes four months of scripting,
three months of pre-production and six months of post-production.”
The cast is chosen from a hopeful 200 who turned up
for auditions. And all of them were first-time actors.
was a guided process,” reveals Chauly when asked
how he dealt with these young actors. The boys were
taught how to act according to the roles given to them,
so that they could produce the performance which was
can say it’s manipulated, I just hope it wasn’t
traumatic for them,” Chauly laughs heartily.
As if things are not difficult enough for this film’s
completion, the multi-talented Chauly still finds time
to direct television commercials, lecture and curate.
And amidst all these, he still manages to make a film
that is “true to life”.
Summing up what he hopes viewers will take home after
watching the movie, he says: “It is all about
coming to terms with who you are. There may be no answers
at the end of the day, but there are always new beginnings
which you can look forward to.”
Yes, that statement comes through at its personal best,
and you can sense that it is definitely not scripted
here for our review of Goodbye Boys