“Old Boy” Popular Chinese Short Film Makes Male Netizens Cry

Dancing like Michael Jackson.

From SouthCN & China Daily:

《老男孩》[“Old Boy”] film becomes popular online, spurs passionate discussion about dreams

China News Service, Hefei, November 9th (Reporter: Cheng Zhanpeng) – an internet film that reflects upon one’s youth and dreams called 《老男孩》[Lao Nan Hai, “Old Boy”] has been rapidly spreading on the internet, moving people of all ages, with many people leaving shedding tears over their youth, commending it as a rare example of a fine domestically-produced piece of work. The film has also spurred passionate discussion amongst netizens about one’s dreams.

“Old Boy” tells about two ordinary men pursuing their dreams, using humorous scenes to make viewers think of their own dreams. They form a band to participate in the “Happy Boys” competition, because one song lets them return to their youth, return to the past. This touching “Old Boy” theme song at the same time moves the entire audience.

Netizen “红”, after watching, said to this reporter, “As time goes by, we can only use our memories to pay homage to our youth, and maybe that’s what makes this short film so moving. Memories of our youth gradually drift away during our daily lives, as people must toil for the basic necessities of life. Occasionally flipping open the memory book, I believe every person more or less will sigh and feel regrets.

There are also netizens who have expressed that everyone’s [lives] are difficult, that reality has the ability to make you lower your high-spirited head, make the little dreams in your heart run aground, and make daily necessities into your “big dream”. However, when youth has already withered, as long as you are alive, your dreams still have an opportunity to sprout [be realized]. When no one wishes you luck, you yourself can also cheer yourself on.

Since it went online, “Old Boy” has already been viewed over 7.1 million times. On the mainland’s famous movie review website Douban, this film’s rather has reached 9.1. Well-known screenwriter Ning Caishen has praised it as “a song dedicated to the post-70s generation.”

This film may be a little difficult for to understand if you have very different life experiences but many Chinese men have said this film made them cry. The English subtitles have many mistakes but it should still be understandable. At this time (of translating), the film has been viewed nearly 41 million times on Youku:

On YouTube (it is split into multiple parts):

Can’t see the above video?

As you can see from the Chevrolet advertisements, this is part of the same Youku and Chevrolet series of videos that included “Ms. Puff’s Goldfish Bowl“.

Comments from KDS:


I think the Billie Jean song in [the film] was really good. emoticons


Definitely tear gas.


Only limited to post-80s generation men.
Women are 99% immune.


Women are 100% immune, unless they were that school beauty.


Will resonate with all of the losers/failures in life.
I didn’t have the least bit feeling after watching it, even in the end, I only wanted to laugh. emoticons


So many post-80s generation memories appeared in this [movie].


[The film’s] method of expression/portrayal is deserving of acknowledgment
Seeing the part where the news of MJ’s death was being broadcast, I definitely felt very sad.
However, with regards to the sympathy towards “Losers” projected in the film,
I cannot agree with it. Although every person cannot choose their background,
one is still the only person responsible for one’s own happiness and improvement in life.
This no one can escape. Avoiding/evading or putting one’s hopes on other people or other things to
change one’s life is something that cannot possibly succeed.
且一个人,一个男人,拥有一颗强大的内心才是他最大的财富”>In fact, for an individual, for a man, his greatest wealth is actually to have a strong/brave heart.

King of Pop Michael Jackson: The Time Has Come


emoticonsA very good film, capable of evoking memories for an entire generation!


Actually, I feel like this film is really just an extremely long MV [music video]…the story at the beginning is just a lead up to the theme/main song, though the song is pretty good.emoticonsemoticons


What is moving is not the film itself, but rather the memories of us post-80s generation members. Those who wee not moved probably had childhoods like this guy, and have nothing to remember.

Nothing to remember.


emoticons The song at the end really added a lot of points [made the film better]. The stuff before it, honestly, was a little dull. More or less everyone has some dreams from their youth that they did not achieve, and films like this can very easily make people remember those things, so it is particularly sad/moving.

But to tell the truth, how many people are able to continue chasing their old dreams? In the end, isn’t it all abandoned? For those who truly continue pursuing their dreams, their dreams will eventually be achieved.

So dreams are even more powerful than drugs. At most, drugs will only kill you, but dreams can be a life worse than death.


Floats/flutters by without a single feeling…


I too didn’t feel there was anything particularly moving [about the film]…apart from the props and the music making me reminisce a little, the film’s entire style was too bangzi.


When the song at the end began, I can’t explain it but I started crying.
Maybe a lot of TF believe the film only relates the youth and memories of men, but women were young once too.
The youth of the post-80s generation has already been lost, and now all that is left in the lives of the post-80s generation is cruel reality.


Yeah, I just finished watching it today, and my tears brimmed at the edge of my eyes, with the only reason I didn’t break down was because I kept telling myself that I am a man, a 30-year-old man, and I cannot allow my dreams to truly become tears and thus lost~~


The tears are one’s own youth, one that is gone forever.

A really ugly character from "Lao Nan Hai".

"Lao Nan Hai", a Chinese short film about realizing the dreams of their youth.

“Take it darling!” Personals @ chinaSMACK.

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.