English (with Malay & Chinese dialects)
Director: Bernard Chauly
Starring: Jay Eng, Nas-T, Razif Hashim, Farid
Ramlee, David Eng, Peter Khor, Daniel Henry
RunTime: 1 hr 28 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Official Website: www.redfilms.com.my/goodbyeboys.htm
Opening Day: Pls refer to http://www.thepicturehouse.com.sg/
What happens when a gang of Form Five boys embark on a 100km
hike to fulfill a King Scouts requirement but come back on
the road to becoming men?
Goodbye Boys is a simple journey with complicated realizations.
Set in 1990, Malaysia, it is about a gang of pimply guys with
raging hormones, undecided ambitions and formative identities.
They set out on a grueling 5-day journey through the Kinta
Valley – once the richest tin deposit in the world,
now an abandoned plain - that changes friendships and selves.
It’s a group expedition with individual goals. The harsh
realization is that although the boys are a troop/patrol,
they’re not necessarily a ‘brotherhood’.
Friends are important but eventually, it’s not always
about togetherness. Some will return mini-heroes, content
with being welcomed by their dream dates at the 5th Form Farewell
Prom dates. Others will realize that the expedition is the
beginning of other things in life… the need to escape
a small town to realize… one’s dreams…
When you grow up in any small town, you know that you have
to breakaway in order to discover your fullest potential.
This is a story that will capture the psyche of a group of
young boys on the brink of leaving their comfort zones, in
transition… It is a confusing yet exciting time where
you wish the possibilities were endless but in reality, you
know your escape routes are limited. It’s a time when
your identity, ambition, sexuality is evolving. It is about
looking back at a crucial formative period, much of which
is reflected within a microjourney of an expedition. Youth
is a time when everything seems exaggerated. A slow dance
with your girl means everything. People’s actions and
deeds affect you in a big way. Negative emotions in particular
What you were then, what you have become. What you continue
to be… Yet we constantly look back. The personal journey
of a few that can be understood universally. It is a timeless
journey that affirms growing up as being a beautiful tragicomedy..
Goodbye Boys looks deceptively simple. Glancing at the surface,
it's a coming of age road trip on foot movie, about a group
of 8 King Scouts wannabe embarking on a 100km route march
in 5 days around Perak's Kinta Valley to fulfill the qualification
requirement. However, even the Scout's motto "Be Prepared"
could not be any better warning for the challenges they face,
the decisions they have to make, and the life changing experiences
each of them will undergo.
Bernard Chauly, whose first film Gol & Gincu featured
a dominant female cast, now puts the spotlight on the males
with his semi-biographical remembrance of his school days,
going on a similar expedition. Set in 1990, it chronicles
and documents some of the little seen sights and sounds of
the road less travelled, as we follow the scouts through varied
landscapes which even included disused, abandoned tin
mining areas. Despite being shot in digital format,
the movie brought out the flavour of the main star of
the show, and that is the on location sites used
throughout in places like Batu Gajah, Kampar and
male dominated ensemble cast were surprisingly
credible and able to flesh out their characters quite
naturally, and what made it more amazing, is that all
of them are rookies. This is in spite of the
characters being introduced in a way that made them
look rather one dimensional, like the strong silent
type for the leader, the cool guy and his jester
sidekick, the fat and skinny contrasting duo, and one
who is a stickler for the rules.
before you jump to conclusions that movies like
these follow a feel good formula of male bonding,
camaraderie and the likes, with each of them helping
one another out through difficulties from the trip,
Goodbye Boys offers a lot more. Perhaps drawing from
personal experiences and adding a dash of dramatic
license to package the story, helped bring across a
sense of familiarity that you would find easy to
identify with the issues being presented. Herein lies
its strength. You'd come to realize that the
characters have a lot of background which slowly
unfolds itself as the story progresses, that in the
end, everything changes, for better or worse.
the veneer of simplicity, lies a fairly intricate web of themes
and issues presented, as they float in and out of the story
depending on the character in focus. Never preachy, and at
times bringing along a chuckle or two, Goodbye Boys is extraordinary
in its deft handling of the subject matter, and the associated
growing pains - of various tests, relationships, friendships,
and the unknown future.
elegant portrayal of teenagers coming of age, coupled with
a deft handling of issues they face)
Review by Stefan Shih