Due to his history of theft in the past, Lin Kuan is falsely accused of stealing from his high school classmate. To prove his innocence, Lin enlists his friend Xiao Bing to make a plan that will clear his name. However, their seemingly perfect plan takes a turn that pushes Lin to a dangerous edge.
This film takes place on a high school campus and addresses the issue of bullying. It is also a continuation of my previous short films, No Big Deal and Beat Him Up, both of which take as their subject the lives of teenagers in school. Boys will serve as the final installment of my Campus Life trilogy. I think most people know or can recall a classmate or two who is always left out from the rest of the students. During my studies at university, I witnessed seven boys isolating the eighth roommate in their dorm room. As students, we fear being different, being isolated, being excluded, and being unpopular… The clique culture in school always results in a few lone students who don’t fit in anywhere. In China, cases of school bullying have led to many tragedies: the student constantly bullied for his lower economic status who committed murder; the introverted student made fun of for his shyness who became addicted to drugs. Cases like these happen in schools around the world.
In the film, Lin Kuan is always the odd one out. He is not always treated poorly or with violence, but he is certainly treated differently. He is not invited to activities among classmates, and only discovers the next day that what he thought was an uneventful night was in fact full of fun that he gathers from classmates’ laughter as they recall the events he missed… He is secretly shocked by the lack of invitation from those he is on good terms with. Though met with the emotions of hurt and anger, he must act indifferent as though nothing bothers him. The complex and contradictory emotions of teengagers are what spurred the creation of Boys. Lin Kuan suffers from complete isolation from his classmates. He trudges through each day with the stressful awareness of others’ animosity and contempt towards him. He wants to change, and fate gives him a chance to do so. Boys continues the same style of filming of its two preceding films: almost every scene is completed with a long take that utilizes the one scene/one shot technique combined with documentary-style acting and filming techniques to emphasize the dramatic effect of the film. At the same time, I have also continued to explore the topic of religion in this film.