Entertainments & Event

Movie Review: APPRENTICE 《徒刑》by Boo Junfeng

Movie synopsis
Aiman is a 28-year-old Malay correctional officer who is recently transferred to the territory’s top prison. He lives with his older sister Suhaila in a modest housing estate. At his new workplace, Aiman begins to take an interest in a 65-year-old sergeant named Rahim. Soon, it is revealed that the charismatic Rahim is actually the long-serving chief executioner of the prison. Rahim also takes notice of the principled and diligent Aiman. When Rahim’s assistant suddenly quits, he asks Aiman to become his apprentice. Aiman tells Suhaila of his new job position, but Suhaila becomes upset, as their father was actually executed by Rahim. Aiman knew this all along. Can Aiman overcome his conscience and a haunted past to possibly take over as the next chief executioner?

Directed by: Boo Junfeng

Fir Rahman as Aiman,
Wan Hanafi Su as Rahim,
Mastura Ahmad as Suhaila

In Cinemas (Singapore): 30th June 2016

Genre: Drama

Language: In Malay and English with English and Chinese subtitles

Runtime: 96 mins

Rating: M18

Movie trailer

重い (means heavy in Japanese) – this is the first thought that comes into my mind after watching the movie.

Remembered a couple of friends once asked me why am I so supportive of the Yellow Ribbon Run, I always give them the same answer “Because I think everyone need a second chance, and I am doing this to support the cause”. Not sure if a lot of people are the same as me, when mentioned about ‘giving another chance’, the focus is always on those prisoners who had served their punishment or learned their mistake. It’s through the movie, I was reminded that of the neglected batch of people who are affected by the ‘butterfly effect’ of the crime committed by the prisoner – their family, and those who ‘execute’ the punishment.

Aiman did not get to see his father when he was born – his father is sentenced to death penalty for a serious crime. But although the death penalty is sentenced on his father, he is serving the penalty indirectly for being borne as the son of a murderer. Since young, he is force to live through a lot of unfair judgement due to his father whom he did not even get to see in person for once.

Rahim hold a very strong belief in what he is doing – he feels that every crime have a consequence to pay. As a executor, the only compassion he can show is to relief the criminals from their sentence is to end everything in the fastest and least painful way. After over 30 years of pulling the last level which ends the life of the criminal, he is sort of desensitise, or at least this is how he presented. His wife left him, his assistant quitted, people see him as a murderer – no one can understand that he is just loyally upholding his duty. Although he sound indifference, but does he really feel so? If so, why did he not revealed the actual use of the rope when he is chatting with the shop staff?

Suhaila is a character just like anyone we can easily find along the street – someone who is committed to take care of her family. Feeling tired of taking care for her sick grandmother and her brother, her heart desired to break free from the unseen chain of burden and fly towards land of freedom to her boyfriend.

Overall, I think the show really stirred a lot of feeling within me in a “quietly” manner, maybe a few brain cells died along the way. Would highly recommend this movie to those who like thoughts provoking films.

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