Director: Adrian Teh
Cast: Ian Fang, Hoon Mei Sim, Lim Yi Xin, Anjoe Koh, Huang Phoebe, Lex Pun, Tan Li Yang; Jack Lim, Verna Jian; Liu Wei Zheng, Cliff Chan, He Wen Hui, Ilham Anas
Runtime: 1 hr 45 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Sexual References)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Opening Day: 30 March 2017
Synopsis: Yi Bai, a middle-aged nobody with a lot of regrets attended the wedding of Xiao Wei, his high school crush. He got drunk and made a fool of his wife. Angry, she chased him with a knife, forcing Yi Bai to hide in the washroom. When he emerged, he found himself in another dimension – he travelled back in time to 1999! Yi Bai is a high school student again and he can re-live his life, allowing him to fix any mistakes he made and achieve all the fame and success he missed out on the first time around. He records hit songs long before the original artists and makes lots of money, but the more successful he becomes, the more he realizes that people around him are just making use of him and his wealth. Will he find anyone who is truly genuine?
Goodbye Mr Loser is the Malaysian remake of the China sleeper hit movie of the same name. It tells a story of Yi Bai (Ian Fang), a worthless middle-aged man, living life full of regrets. On an occasion when he attended the wedding of his high school crush, Xiao Wei (Anjoe Koh), he reunited with some of his classmates. That triggered him thinking how life could have been if he had done things differently when he was younger. With a turn of events, he was transported back to the past and given the chance to ‘re-do’ his life.
It was a love at first sight for Malaysian director Adrian Teh. When he first watched the Chinese film on an airplane, he knew he had to do the movie. Likewise, when he went through more than 100 casting videos, he instinctively knew Ian Fang is the ‘right one’ for the lead male character. According to Adrian, Ian just worked out fine in subsequent follow-up videos and he had the flair and flavor for the lead male character. And indeed, Ian Fang managed to achieve a breakthrough. Although he is often casted as the evil antagonist and portrayed as bratty, spoilt and cocky. Yet, he proved he could also take on comedic roles like Yi Bai, showing the wide range of characters he can take on.
Further, it is already not Malaysian director Adrian Teh first attempt at a comedy. In fact, his experience goes back to year 2010 and he has built a considerable reputation and profile for the works he does. As such, there were appropriate contextualized jokes and laughing points that surely entertained the audiences. Due to a tight production budget, the ‘famous people’ starred in the movie were mainly impersonators. Even though that could be seen as the ‘cheaper alternatives and the washed out versions of the original personalities, it strangely gave an uplift to the comedic effect.
In terms of the plot and storyline, it is definitely not one of the most original. Especially after the immense theatrical success of “You Are the Apple of My Eye (2011)”, high school dramas as such has been more than common. While the jokes are more relatable and closer at heart as compared to movies produced for Taiwanese and Chinese markets, it still did not stand out from the crowd too much, which is quite a pity.
Nonetheless, Adrian Teh has done well in this film from casting the right people to the right roles to building the chemistry in the team of actors. Despite being from different places – Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan – they certainly didn’t have any awkwardness in their interactions and the atmosphere they had was one that was fun and amiable.
The resolution of the movie was not a spectacular one – but it certainly warms the heart and gives a nice closure to the movie. Overall, the great selection of nostalgic tunes (including Mayday’s songs!) coupled with the humour, put together a movie that entertains fairly well.
(Limpeh kali kong: it’s a heartwarming movie of nostalgia and good taste)
Review by Tho Shu Ling