Nadiya Nissa and Mohd Aliff Firdaus gatecrashing in "Jejak Warriors".
After the sudden death of his father, Wan Rajah discovers his father's memorabilia for the Kelantan football team; The Red Warriors. To fulfill his father's dying wish, Wan Rajah is determined to collect the autographs of every Red Warrior on a football trip that will take him on an adventure (or misadventure) across the country. While traveling from Johor Bharu to Kota Bharu, Wan Rajah encounters a host of colorful characters, giving their support for him to achieve his dream.
Fans of Malaysian football, and especially The Red Warriors, would likely by lining up to the cinema, instead of the stadium to watch "Jejak Warriors" when it kicks off in cinemas this 27 August.
However, it would be misnomer to call "Jejak Warriors" just another football movie because it was made as a family friendly movie with life messages. Not to mention that it has a well-known cast from Pekin Ibrahim, Nadiya Nissa, Harun Salim Bachik to young talent Mohd Aliff Firdaus. So there's a lot more that "Jejak Warriors" can offer, and we give you five reasons why you should put on your jersey to watch it
The Red Warriors
"Jejak Warriors" was co-produced by The Red Warriors, which means that we would surely get to see the star players from the team. Among the players making an appearance are goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, defender Mohd Fitri Omar, and midfielders Wan Zack Haikal and Ahmad Fakri Saarani. And they are not just making a cameo appearance but would be playing as themselves, giving support as Wan travels across the country to see them. Between having to find time between matches from the field to be on set, the players were also given acting training by actress Fauzia Nawi so that they would appear more natural in front of the camera. But the biggest payoff for following The Red Warriors would be seeing them on the pitch, as part of "Jejak Warriors" was shot on an actual match between The Red Warriors and the JDT Southern Tigers using drones.
The Kelantanese Elements
For a movie about the Kelantan football club, it would inevitably contain lots of Kelantanese elements. Beside the sights and sounds of Kota Bharu, one of the main highlights that will be accompanying The Red Warriors would be their official musical troupe; the Dikir Warriors who would be showcasing their unique cheers through the tradition of Dikir Barat (make sure you got your "Gomo Kelate Gomo" down). But if you are more worried that you would be lost by the Kelantanese dialect, the director has already ensured us that there will be subtitles in English and Bahasa Malaysia.
Harun Salim Bachik
Harun Salim Bachik's sudden death this year sadly marks "Jejak Warriors" as one of his last few performances. In here, he plays as a taxi driver who suggested the idea of bringing Wan Rajah to his first Red Warriors match in Penang. Harun has been a frequent collaborator with director Saw Teong Hin, and has appeared in each of Saw's films since "Apa Kata Cinta".
Saw Teong Hin
If none of the names we mentioned above has been able to pull our attention to see "Jejak Warriors", then his name alone was more than enough. After making his tremendous debut in 2004 with "Puteri Gunung Ledang", Saw Teong Hin has more than made his name in our most anticipated list of directors, especially when it comes to Malay-speaking movies. So it's easy to be anticipating for his next feature since 2012's "Hoore! Hoore!". While Saw himself had admitted that he wasn't a footsie fan, but we think that helps to lend a different perspective to the game, and there is a much larger story to deliver than just about football. Besides, a little diversity never hurts one's versatility.
More Than a Football Story
But if big names and stars aren't the reason why you would go to see a movie, then we know that you're there for the story, and we like to think that "Jejak Warriors" would be able to fill in that need nicely. On the surface it can be seem like "Jejak Warriors" was one feature length promotion for The Red Warriors, but the reason why director Saw Teong Hin had agreed to pick up directing it was because he saw a larger story about family, fatherhood and dreams behind it (we'd even recommend you to bring a pack of tissue) . In his own words, he described that the movie is about not giving up, and that life can bring about the best changes even when we feel that we are losing. If using football as a metaphor for finding hope isn't already an interesting idea, then we are just about ready to blow the final whistle.
Cinema Online, 26 August 2015