When longing to be reunited with a loved one, sometimes one has no definite answer on how long the waiting game will be.

In the film Pulang, the person playing the waiting game is Thom (Puteri Aishah). When her fisherman husband Othman (Remy Ishak) decides to take up a job as a sailor, she has no choice but to let him go. As time goes by, it becomes sadly evident that her husband is not coming home.

Pulang tells a compelling story about the heartbreaking relationship between Othman and Thom. It explores Thom’s excruciating wait for her husband and the reason behind his disappearance.

There is drama in the way the story unfolds through a number of significant events that briefly inform viewers on the history of Malaysia. The film also provides a nuanced reflection on how the generation before us survived a turbulent period filled with uncertainty and hardship.


When dad is away, Thom has to be the one to teach son Omar how to dance for the school joget night.

The cinematography in Pulang is a gorgeous feast for the eyes with the ocean as a recurring metaphor throughout the film. When the sea is calm and clear, it’s used as a stunning backdrop for happier times.

Meanwhile, its destructive nature reminds us that life has its share of troubles. You’ll also appreciate how visual technology is used to depict Othman’s life at sea and his journey around the world.

There are defiant and interesting characters to root for as well. Othman is portrayed as a kind person who does not let his suffering get in the way of doing the right thing. Then there is Thom who bravely ventures out on her own to find her missing husband.

All this may sound like Pulang is drowning in its own melodrama; thankfully it has a bit of humour. Alvin Wong – playing Othman’s wisecracking friend Lam – shows that when times are bad, a little humour goes a long way.

Pulang has too many unnecessary elements that hamper the audience’s attention. As per his style, director Kabir Bhatia relies on the film’s theme song (Layarlah Kembali by Dayang Nurfaizah) to amplify the film’s emotional message. It doesn’t help that the audience has to go through so many slow motion montages and scenes, especially near the end.

Nonetheless, the story of Othman and Thom is a moving cinematic experience with something for everyone. There is an inspiring story of adventure and bravery; also a beautiful yet heartbreaking love story. But Pulang does require viewers’ patience. With Pulang, the hopeless romantic and the realist – for once – can agree that time heals everything.

Catch this movie at Golden Screen Cinemas nationwide. Follow GSC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Director: Kabir Bhatia
Cast: Remy Ishak, Puteri Aishah, Alvin Wong, Sherry Al Jeffry, Erwin Dawson, Datuk Rahim Razali