The 2005 futsal-themed film, Gol & Gincu, broke new ground when it tackled weighty social issues no one wanted to talk about.
Thirteen years later, its reboot, Gol & Gincu Vol. 2, which features an all-new storyline and cast of characters, is no different.
Gol & Gincu Vol. 2, directed by Umi Salwana Omar, opens with two students Zak (Diana Danielle) and Yaya (Ummi Nazeera) getting off on the wrong foot on their first day of university.
Yaya, a social media influencer, calls Zak out on Twitter for cutting the queue. Zak takes issue with Yaya’s way of confronting her on social media instead of speaking to her directly.
Lo and behold, in the next scene, the two find out that they’re roommates. Zak – an inspiring fashion designer with a rebellious streak – and Yaya – an annoyingly optimistic social media personality – have to grit their teeth and bear with each other.
Later, when their clashing personalities result in a public spat that goes viral, the university board orders the two to make amends by doing volunteer work, which brings them to women’s shelter home Rawat Rehat Remaja (get the 3R reference?).
Rawat Rehat Remaja, run by Kak Jijie (a character from the original film played by Sharifah Amani), is a safe place for young women from all walks of life with a troubled past.
To raise funds for the shelter home, Zak signs the girls up for a futsal competition which boasts a handsome cash prize.
First things first, the biggest change in the reboot is its decision to do away with a romantic storyline – and here’s where it really makes great strides.
The original, although a female-driven story, relied heavily on a male character as a foundation for its premise. The reason its then-lead Putri (Fazura) learned to play futsal hinged feebly on her desire to win back her futsal-loving ex-boyfriend. And when her ex gets together with a female futsal player, the women declare war.
The reboot accomplishes two things with its refreshing move. Firstly, in a cinema landscape so filled with romance films, a film can be about friendship. And secondly, female friendships and rivalries come from a complex place, far more complex than two girls simply fighting over a man.
Zak and Yaya’s disdain for each other stems from the fact that they’re two very different people with very different priorities. And as the film progresses, the changes in dynamics between them is charming and beautiful to see.
Diana and Ummi not only do a good job in portraying their characters’ idiosyncrasies individually, but when they come together and spar, their chemistry is palpable.
The reboot makes a Herculean effort to highlight current social issues as well. There’s a multitude of issues explored primarily through the characters at the shelter home. Each teen has a story – a pregnant teen, a teen with a history of violence, a teen with nowhere to go and range of other issues.
While I commend the film for choosing to talk about these important issues, unfortunately, the film merely scrapes the tip of the iceberg when discussing them.
In just two or three brief scenes, which sees the teens gathered around in heart-to-heart sessions, these issues are touched upon. Only one teen’s story is explored in full.
Perhaps a better approach would be to shave off some of the issues, and shine the spotlight on just two or three. Less breadth, more depth.
The film’s efforts to raise awareness about these social issues also feel too intentional. In the original, the issues raised were incorporated into the storyline organically. The reboot packs a lot of social issues at one go, and without fully developing each one, the film feels more like a motivational session.
The male characters are side pieces in the film, and that’s perfectly fine as it stays true to the vision of the original. However, the boys may have been a little underused. While I applaud the film for doing away with romantic relationships, it missed the opportunity to use its characters to talk about the possibility of another type of relationship between members of the opposite sex – platonic relationships.
Gol & Gincu Vol. 2 has its faults. Having said that, looking at the local film industry, it is still miles ahead when it comes to its depiction of female characters, female friendships and in addressing hard-hitting social issues.
Gol & Gincu Vol. 2
Director: Umi Salwana Omar
Cast: Diana Danielle, Ummi Nazeera, Sharifah Amani, Sazzy Falak, Sherry Alhadad, Syafiq Kyle, Aedy Ashraf