In the spirit of patriotism, I went to watch the debut of a movie called Adiwiraku last night, a true tale inspired by two Teach For Malaysia teachers in Sungai Petani, Kedah. The movie focuses on the joys and struggles of English teaching where poverty, dropouts and family conflicts can prevent young students from excelling.

The story focuses on the tale of Cheryl Ann Fernando and her fellow colleague Constant Wong at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pinang Tunggal. In an effort to build her students confidence and English speaking abilities, the two enlist a group of 35 children for a choral speaking competition.

Heartwearming and humorous, Adiwiraku manages to successfully capture the life of the students in the Malaysian countryside, which is in no small part due to the fact that the students in the film are actually the same students who won the competition.

Here are my five key takeaways on why I would recommend the movie.

It touches on a very human element

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This film highlights the extraordinary passion teachers have towards helping their fellow students to achieve their goals through good old-fashioned hard work and determination. Although life does throw in an obstacle or two every now and then, the teachers in the movie manages to teach these kids that it doesn’t mean you should give up and call it quits.

It takes you back to your school days

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Growing up in a Malaysian school was a rite of passage most if not all of us have gone through. While not all schools definitely look alike, viewers will be able to assimilate with the children of the movie out of nostalgia. The young teenagers act like young teenagers but all have their own set of challenges to overcome. Just like you did.

The payoff is worth it

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While I won’t spoil the ending of the movie for you, I can tell you that it did evoke an emotional response from me. Like I was, I’m sure you will be rooting for this diverse group of likeable kids from the beginning of the movie and like I did, I’m sure you’ll want them to succeed after putting in so much effort for the upcoming competition.

Education’s place in society

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Schools exist for a reason and folks like Cheryl and Constant who have taken it upon themselves to bravely head out into rural areas to better the kids around the nation is very inspiring. Watching both these teachers go the extra mile to ensure these kids receive proper lessons and grow up with a better chance in society gives me hope as a viewer that there are good Malaysians who wish to make our nation a better place.

A teacher’s job

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Not many will stop to think about it but a teacher’s job is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Yet, they hardly get the recognition they deserve. Watching this movie made me realise that we should as a society learn to better appreciate the role of the teacher. They are after all the ones equipping the next generation of Malaysia with the essential wisdom and skills to become future successes.

Adiwiraku will be showing in 48 selected cinemas nationwide including GSC Alamanda, GSC Mid Valley, GSC Berjaya Times Square and TGV KLCC

Also read, tips from an award-winning first time filmmaker.

Tags: Film, Malaysian Movie, Teach For Malaysia, Cheryl Ann Fernando, Adiwiraku