GOOD GOODBYE (好好说再见) (2024)

Genre: Drama
Director: Daniel Yam
Cast: Julie Tan, Tosh Rock, Andie Chen, Aster Yeow, Shane Pow, Yang Shi Bin, Teo Ser Lee
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins
Rating: NC16 (Some Drug Use and Disturbing Scene)
Released By: mm2 Entertainment
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 28 March 2024

Synopsis: Good Goodbye is an emotionally charged anthology film, interweaving three powerful narratives that revolve around the theme of palliative care. These stories explore profound themes such as love, resilience, and the art of letting go. In the first story, "The Last Kiss," the characters of Zheng and Cindy find love, healing, and closure in a world where compassion knows no bounds. They help patients fulfill their final wishes and say their goodbyes, ultimately discovering that love is the ultimate healer. In "The Last Joke," the characters of Betty and Tai showcase the resilience of the human spirit in the face of life's toughest decisions. Betty's dream to become a stand-up comedian becomes a symbol of hope and determination as she battles a life-altering illness. It's a poignant exploration of the sacrifices we make for our dreams and loved ones. Lastly, in "The Last Meal," the characters of Seng and Wei embark on a journey of redemption. Seng, a wise 70-year-old, aims to save his grandson, Wei, from addiction by teaching him to cook fried rice. Their story is a testament to the enduring strength of family bonds and the hope of breaking free from the chains of addiction. "Good Goodbye" carries a message that transcends the limitations of time and illness, emphasising the significance of love, the pursuit of dreams, and the beauty of letting go. Each character's journey resonates with viewers, inspiring them to find meaning and hope in the face of life's most challenging moments. 

Movie Review:

There have been movies about palliative care, and notable ones that come to mind include Alejandro Amenábar’s The Sea Inside (2004), Michael Haneke’s Amour (2012) and Lulu Wang’s The Farewell (2019). The first title was based on the real-life story of Ramón Sampedro, a Spanish quadriplegic who fought for his right to die with dignity. The second one shone the spotlight on a French elderly couple’s love and devotion in the face of a terminal illness. The third example sees a Chinese-American woman making a trip to China with her family to visit her terminally ill grandmother.

These finely made and critically acclaimed films probably made viewers sniff and tear quite a bit. How does local filmmaker Daniel Yam’s latest work compare with the abovementioned movies, which have explored the poignant complexities of palliative care, end of life decision making and the human experiences surrounding death and dying? We are happy to report that it is a sincere and admirable effort that brings across a well intended message.

There are three interwoven stories in this 93 minute movie. One of them features Tosh Zhang and Julie Tan as a nurse and a medical social worker who take care of patients in a hospice where dying is not uncommon. Zhang delivers an earnest performance and is believable as a healthcare worker who is competent in his job but feels burdened by the heaviness it brings along. This personality is nicely contrasted with Tan’s chirpy individual who is positive and upbeat all the time. She’s the sort of employee every organisation wishes to have – someone who stays back after work to go the extra mile (she fulfils her patient’s dream to see the northern lights). No thanks to media coverage on Tan’s shaven head, we know something unfortunate will happen.

Elsewhere, Andie Chen plays an overprotective father who is trying every possible method to find a cure for his cancer stricken daughter portrayed by Aster Yeow. What’s interesting here is that the girl aspires to be a stand up comedian, and as expected, her dreams to give a performance is going shattered by her condition. The movie knows that featuring sick kids will tug at heartstrings, and this storyline is genuinely heartbreaking.

Besides children, the theme of palliative care naturally involves the elderly. Yang Shi Bin takes on the role of a good hearted hawker who has a strained relationship with his grandson played by Shane Pow. The young man has just been released from prison for drug related offences, and he doesn’t sober up before we see the poor grandfather literally vomit blood due to his late stage lung cancer. You’ll be cold hearted if you do not shed a tear by this pair’ story.

It is also interesting to note that this production is supported by MOH Holdings, a holding company of Singapore’s public healthcare institutions. This explains the various themes exemplified through the three stories. The movie does a fine job not over preaching the messages, and we are also impressed by the ensemble cast’s heartfelt performances. There are some scenes with product placements, but you will be willing to overlook them and be moved by the wholehearted stories about living life to the fullest, no matter the length.

Movie Rating:

(This sincere movie features heartfelt performances by its ensemble cast and more importantly, a well-intended message about living life to the fullest)

Review by John Li

You might also like:


Movie Stills