Despite largely positive responses from critics locally and internationally, Zahir Omar’s Fly By Night did not perform well at the Malaysian box office. A lot of it probably has to do with its lack of marketing — unlike films like Paskal and Polis Evo 2, Fly By Night did not have the backing of Astro Shaw, a powerhouse in Malaysia. Perhaps it’s also because the Zahir Omar picture is crass, gritty, raw and not one you would bring your whole family to.
Having said that, purely from a quality and artistic standpoint, Fly By Night is a definite must-watch, especially for film lovers. Don’t worry if you missed it in cinemas, though, as the film is now available to watch on Netflix. It joins the likes of One Two Jaga and the plethora of Dain Said movies in Netflix’s ever-expanding library of Malaysian films.
In my review I wrote:
The film is about a family who’re part-time taxi drivers, full-time thieving gangsters. When the younger sibling decides to do a job behind his brother’s back, it lands him in hot soup with a bunch of different people and then… sh*t happens. But Fly By Night isn’t necessarily about a particular plot. Here, Zahir Omar has built a world that is dusty, grimy, stinky (yes, it has a stench to it), violent and often very funny.
He fills this world with gangsters, cops with broken moral compasses, thirsty adulterous husbands, revenge-hungry girlfriends, gambling dens, and loads of cigarette smoke. The screenplay by Zahir, Dain Said, Fredrick Bailey and Ivan Yeo consists of a few storylines that weave and interlock with one another in an exciting and thrilling manner.
I had a quick chat with director Zahir Omar earlier and the always down to earth helmer expressed how excited he is that his film is heading to Netflix.
“Just stoked that we get a second chance to share it with our homies and homattas in Malaysia. It would be great if everyone hopped on board the viewing train and shared the love. This’ll hopefully encourage other Malaysians to do more films and spur our industry on!”
Fly By Night stars Bront Palarae, Sunny Pang, Eric Chen, Fabian Loo, Jack Tan and Frederick Lee.