The pandemic may have altered my sense of taste — in movies. When I first tried to watch Rembat 2 years ago, I could not finish it. It seemed so weird and nonsensical, and the actors kept spitting rice everywhere.
And then a few days ago, I decided to watch the whole film just so I could get it off my Netflix watchlist. I was even anticipating that I would start a post entitled “Netflix movies not worth your time”. Am I so desperate for entertainment that I now find this movie funny? I even followed the plot.
Director Shamyl Othman says his film is about celebrating our differences and creating a film that all Malaysians can enjoy. In the story, 2 dead beat football fans meet cute in a brawl in a fast food restaurant. Chin Chye (Ah-Niu) is a Malaysian Chinese gambler who owes 40k to a loan shark while Malik (Shaheizy Sam) is a recreational player who needs 40k to help pay for his girlfriend’s grandmother’s medical treatment. They end up promising to get the loan shark VIP access to a Malaysian international friendly, where he can then bribe one of the players to lose the game.
Stealing the passes and getting to the game turns into a long road trip with myriad obstacles such as last minute venue relocations, a mysterious driver, a ghost, a second loan shark who is a rapper and wants Malaysia to win the game, exotic animals, a purveyor of bras, a funeral, and more. At the same time, Malik has to figure out how to get his girlfriend to marry him instead of her boss. It all comes down to the Malaysia game…
About the actors
It was surprising to learn that the 2 lead actors are very well known in Malaysia. Ah-Niu is a famous singer, and like his character spent a great deal of money to fix his teeth. Shaheizy Sam comes from a family of actors.
There is only a little recreational soccer in the film, but it appears that Shaheizy Sam knows how to play. There are youtube videos purportedly of him at WC 2018 in Russia.
The second time around
As I confessed earlier, this time I was able to watch the entire film, laughing along the way. The ending is quite cute and befits real soccer fans. My favorite character in the film is M.R. Big (Zizan Razak), the rapping loan shark. Rembat is kind of insane but funny. It would be nice to know what Rembat means…
7 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 7