What happens when a gang of Form Five Ipoh 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 we’re a troop/patrol, we’re not necessarily a ‘brotherhood’. Friends are important but eventually, it’s not always about togetherness. Memorable camaraderie, yes, but each and everyone needs to grow up, get real. Stand on your own two feet, walk your own walk.
Some will return mini-heroes, content with being welcomed by their dream dates at the 5th Form Farewell Prom organized by the Ipoh Convent girls. 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.
Education is your ticket out. 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 micro-journey 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 seem amplified.
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.