Army Daze

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Army Daze
Army daze movie poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Ong Keng Sen
Screenplay by Michael Chiang
Starring Edward Yong Ching Tah
Sheikh Haikel
Kevin Mark Verghese
Adrian Lim Meng Kiat
Ahamed Asad
Distributed by Cathay Asia Films
Release dates
1996
Running time
84 minutes
Country Singapore
Language English, Malay, Hokkien and Mandarin
Budget S$700,000
Box office S$1,600,000

Army Daze is a 1996 Singaporean comedy movie based on the 1987 theatre play (which had a rerun in March 2006[1] ) of the same name by Singaporean writer Michael Chiang. Distributed by Cathay Asia Films and directed by Ong Keng Sen, the film portrays a group of 18-year-old Singaporean teenagers from different classes and cultural backgrounds as they perform their National Service and their experience within the Singapore Armed Forces. The movie is spoken in Singlish, Standard English, Malay, Hokkien and Mandarin.

The tagline of the movie, From Real Blur (Singlish reference to a mental state of confusion) to Real Men.

Plot[edit]

This is the bestselling coming-of-age novel by Michael Chiang, a semi-fictionalised autobiography and reminiscence of lost youth and boyhood.

Cast[edit]

  • Edward Yong Ching Tah as Malcolm Png, a young naïve Chinese boy from a middle-upper-class background. Due to being doted on by his mother, he at first has difficulty and culture shock in getting used to his new environment but slowly enjoys life in the army. He serves as the narrator of the film including breaking the fourth wall to explain to the audience about Singapore National Service.
  • Sheikh Haikel as Johari Salleh, a large, chubby Malay boy who loves rap music. He wishes to be an actor so he can meet his favorite star, Malaysian actress and singer Deanna Yusoff. Some of funny moments about him are usually about his weight.
  • Ahamed Asad as Krishnamoorthy, a heroic Indian boy who acts like a typical Bollywood hero. He has a positive attitude to joining NS to prove how much of a heroic man he is to his girlfriend Lathi. Yet at the same time, Krishna does not hesitate to break some rules to spend more time with Lathi.
  • Adrian Lim Meng Kiat as Teo Ah Beng, a mean, foul-mouthed Chinese teenager just like his namesake, Ah Beng. Has a severe dislike of having to serve National Service and is only doing it for the allowance. A recurring joke about Ah Beng is that everyone keeps telling him speak Mandarin when he speaks in Hokkien. Krishna quickly becomes friends with him due to the latter secretly carrying a cellphone and pager.
  • Kevin Mark Marghese as Kenny Pereira, an effeminate Eurasian youth. Most of the funny moments about him are usually about how he manages to "feminise" any situation he is in.
  • Margaret Chan as Mrs Png, Malcolm's mother. Mrs Png dotes on her son and expects Malcolm to get special treatment within the Army due to her husband working as a government official. However, she is unaware or does not realise that Malcolm will be treated the same like other recruits with no special privileges. As she does not understand the training and bonding he does in the army, she thinks her son is not eating enough and becoming stupid for spending time with the 'unintelligent' people.
  • Jacintha Charles as Lathi, Krishna's girlfriend. She is madly in love with Krishna and thinks him heroic for joing the army.
  • Eileen Wee Ling Yin as Teo Ah Huay, Ah Beng's younger sister. Ah Beng is sometimes annoyed about her due to the revealing clothes she wears and the fact she keeps asking him for money.
  • Daniel Gan Wei Teck as CPL Ong, the platoon's Drill instructor. He tends to act harsh whenever the recruits try to be funny. While giving military lessons, he is also known for quoting very strange Chinese sayings.
  • Rajagopal Kesavadas as SGT Monteiro, the Platoon Sergeant. He gets annoyed whenever the recruits do not act accordingly in what they are doing in the army.
  • Elaine Li Hoon Cheah as Sgt. Wendy Chung, the Sergeant in charge in bayonet combat. She despises the recruits for not taking her lessons seriously. However, Ah Beng falls in love with her.
  • Julian Jay Huang as 2LT Collin Heng, the platoon's commander. A handsome man who acts gentlemanly and cares about the men under his command.
  • Ong Chuen Boone as Mr X, a man who secretly sells Malcolm a book in the beginning in the movie called "101 Ways To Twang In The Army", a book that shows how recruits can skive off within the Singapore Army without getting caught, including how to become an Army Clerk.
  • Deanna Yusoff as herself. A famous Malaysian actress and singer, she is Johari's crush. She appears in Johari's imaginations and in one segment with Malcolm about recruits having girlfriends. She also appears at the end of the film which reveals she was Sgt Wendy Chung's old school mate from Kuala Lumpur.
  • Lim Kay Tong as Captain Lim
Army Daze (Play)
Army Daze Toy Factory.jpg
Written by Michael Chiang
Characters Malcolm Png
Kenny Pereira
Teo Ah Beng
Johari Salleh
Setting National Service in Singapore

Reception[edit]

With a budget of S$700,000, the movie was one of the most profitable Singaporean films during that time, earning about S$1,600,000 at the local box office.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Army Daze makes a comeback to the theaters". Channel NewsAsia. 27 February 2006. 

External links[edit]