The most talked-about Chinese New Year 2014 movie was The Journey, a local production from Astro Shaw, WooHoo Pictures and award-winning director Chiu (Keng Guan of “Great Day”).
“I cried all the way…”
“Heard many good things about it…”
I did too, so I made it a point to watch it in the cinema before it’s taken off.
The Journey is a heartwarming story about an old man’s quest to fulfill a life-long promise; to hand-deliver his daughter’s wedding invitation cards to his friends from primary school.
Or it could be: an old man’s bond with his daughter who came home from UK with a Caucasian fiance. They seek his blessing and acceptance, along which came a journey of self-discovery for all three.
Or maybe: a East meets West story of a future Caucasian son-in-law bonding with the Asian father of his bride-to-be, in a cross-country motorcycle road trip where they learned about the importance of family, heritage, traditions, expectations, forgiveness and acceptance.
See, there are a few mini stories in the movie. While I enjoyed the overall production, I felt that there was a slight disconnect and some stories do not gel, nor given a proper ‘finish’. My colleague felt the same, but added that “haiya most movies are like that one what.”
That aside, I thought the locations and scenes were just beautiful. Movies like this remind people how gorgeous our country is; please cuti-cuti Malaysia more okay.
The use of mix languages, jumping from one language or dialect to another may be confusing to some. Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, English, Malay, Tamil… But that’s how we Malaysians speak! Love it!
Main actor, Australian Ben Andrew Pfeiffer provides humour and eye candy throughout the movie. I enjoyed the chemistry between him and retiree Frankie Lee Sai Peng, the other main antagonist.
Hard to believe that Frankie Lee had no acting experience prior to this movie. It was also surreal – like watching my father and his can’t-move-a-mountain persona on the cinema screen. I know many people of my generation can relate to this.
Main actress Joanne Yew has nice big eyes. I wish she had better on-screen chemistry with her movie fiance. Or the bond with her father given more emphasis, with a satisfying turning point where both forgave and accepted each other. If there was one, I couldn’t feel it.
If you’ve not seen it, should you go watch it?
Yes, of course, absolutely.
With more yays than nays, you’ll have a wonderful time reminiscing your past. You’ll laugh, cry and reflect on your relationship with your family. If you’re bak kata pepatah ‘katak dibawah tempurung’, you’ll ooh-ahh at the beautiful scenes and landscapes that you wouldn’t believe were shot in Malaysia.
On an unpaid, not-an-advertorial side note, thank you Astro Shaw for taking a chance on something like this. RM4 million budget is no joke, I think it was well-spent and I look forward to more of your productions.
Watch The Journey‘s official trailer:
Some behind-the-scenes clips, really amazing cast and production:
See first-time actor Frankie flubbing his lines: