Movie review: The Journey (2014)


You must be surprised that I only got to watch ‘The Journey’ (一路有你) film recently as it had been released way many months ago in conjunction with the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration early this year. That time I only went for those CNY-themed films from Hong Kong as usual every year and hence had put our local production, ‘The Journey’ aside. It is always right with our mindset that our local films couldn’t work out well all the time. However, ‘The Journey’ proved it wrong. The film received overwhelming positive feedbacks and had since then became the highest grossing local film at over RM 17 million intake in box office.

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So, of course I’m going to watch it eventhough it’s a bit late to check whether it is really that good. And yup…I can say ‘The Journey’ is a local masterpiece, and deserved to be the representative of Malaysia in film industry. It is a Malaysian Chinese film by Astro, and directed by Chiu Keng Guan, whom had previously directed several past local CNY movies too. ‘The Journey’ thus became his greatest work. The film tells the story of a very conservative father whom is supposed to be very happy of the return of his daughter from oversea after so many years. However, things didn’t go right when his daughter brought home her fiance, a happy-go-lucky Western boy. From there, an unusual yet wonderful adventure began.

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Some said it is a plain story. A bit bored here or there. But for me, it’s not plain. It’s just a humble, simple, light, down-to-earth plot, which can still delivers surprisingly. It’s not meant to be overly dramatic, with actions, twists or intense plot. No…It has to be just like this…let it flow and you will get engaged to its moving story automatically. It is aimed to convey meaningful and memorable messages especially during the festive season when the film was released. And it did so successfully. ‘The Journey’ is no doubt an emotionally poignant and a wonderfully funny movie. There are some hilarious moments to keep you entertained too. But of course, this movie isn’t perfect yet as there are some aspects in the film that can be developed further.

The movie is also doing well in showcasing the beauty of Malaysia from its picturesque natural setting to its people of different cultures, traditions and languages particularly of the Chinese since this is a CNY-themed film. As predicted, do expect multiple languages heard from this movie (Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Malay, Hokkien, etc). This is what a Malaysian film is. ‘Rojak’ languages. I also find having a Western actor as the lead here is a fresh new approach to a local film, and it works well. Well, he is Ben Andrew Pfeifer, and he contributed very good for his character. Joanne Yew as the female lead is capable of handling her role very well too. As for her father in the film (also the lead), Frankie Lee couldn’t hit the role enough yet as the conservative uncle to his son-in-law. He always gave the same dull expression all the time. He can actually be a bit more dramatic in case we find the film too flat or anything. But he didn’t do so. Anyway, in general, the casts still do deliver for a heartfelt and rewarding performances.

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The film also has beautiful and stunning cinematography. Just amazing. So, mostly all my points are complimenting this film. It surprised me and it is an eye-opener. ‘The Journey’ is truly a must-see film for all Malaysians. If you still haven’t seen it, I recommend this for you. Don’t miss this. It’s a gem of Malaysian films. Simply beautiful and even outstanding. Beyond my expectation and it delivers even if it’s just from a small production scale. It is the best Malaysian film I have seen so far. Thumbs up. Finally, local films have hope. I think this will win big in coming local film awards too. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Journey’ a total of 8.0. At first, I wish to give only 7.8, but I would just add 0.2 point more as my effort in support of local production. You can do it! Malaysia can do it!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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