The Wellbeing of the Heterogeneous Older Persons: The Analysis of ‘Going in Style’ Gereontological Comedy Film and Real-life Malaysian Elderly

The Wellbeing of the Heterogeneous Older Persons: The Analysis of ‘Going in Style’ Gereontological Comedy Film and Real-life Malaysian Elderly

Rajeswary S. Rajaratnam

University of Malaya, Malaysia

international journal of aging research

While ageing has become a global phenomenon and received prominent attention due to the rapid increase in the older population, including Malaysia; There has also been an increase in comedy films focusing on old people. Therefore, this study aims to analyse how older persons represented in a gerontological comedy film ‘Going in Style’. This study also aims to relate how older persons represented in this comedy film with real-life situations of Malaysian older people. In meeting these aims, a qualitative research approach through thematic analysis has been adopted. The findings of this study shows how the older person represented in ‘Going in Style’ is similar to real-life situations experienced by some of Malaysian older people. The comedy highlights that ageing is not a single dimensional concept concentrated on physical aspects but is multidimensional, consisting of social,psychological, spiritual and economic and environmental aspects.

Keywords: older person, wellbeing, gerontology, multidimensional

Free Full-text PDF

How to cite this article:
Rajeswary S. Rajaratnam. The Wellbeing of the Heterogeneous Older Persons: The Analysis of ‘Going in Style’ Gereontological Comedy Film and Real-life Malaysian Elderly. International Journal of Aging Research, 2020, 3:64. DOI: 10.28933/ijoar-2020-03-2505


1. Abdul Hamid, T. A. (2019). Ageing in Malaysia – Expert Group Meeting on Measuring Population Ageing: Bridging Research and Policy. Retrieved from https://www.
2. Abdul Hamid, T. A. (2015). Population ageing in Malaysia: A mosaic of issues, challenges, and prospects. Serdang, Selangor: University Putra Malaysia Press.
3. Abdul Rashid, S., Ab. Ghani, P., Daud, N., Ab Ghani Hilmi, Z., Nor Azemi, S. N. A., Syed Wahid, S. N., & Razak, M. R. (2016). Malaysia’s Ageing Population Trends. In M. Abdullah, W. Yahya, N. Ramli, S. Mohamed, & B. Ahmad (Eds.), Regional Conference on Science, Technology and Social Sciences (RCSTSS 2014). Singapore: Springer.
4. Abd Samad, S., & Mansor, N. (2013). Population ageing and social protection in Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Economic Studies, 50(2), 139-156.
5. Adnan, A. S. (2017, April 25). Malaysia bakal dipenuhi warga tua miskin dan sakit. Berita Harian Online. Retrieved from 5
6. Anderson, C. A., Carnagey, N. L., Eubanks, J. (2003). Exposure to violent media: The effects of songs with violent lyrics on aggressive thoughts and feelings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 960–971.
7. Al-Nakeeb, Y., Lyons, M., Dodd, L. J., & Al-Nuaim, A. (2015). An investigation into the lifestyle, health habits and risk factors of young adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12, 4380-4394.
8. Atrokiasamy, J. T. (1997). Social problems and care of the elderly. Medical Journal Malaysia, 52(3), 197-201.
9. Autchariya, P., Suchitporn, L., & Supawadee, P. (2019). Active ageing level and time use of elderly persons in a Thai suburban community. Occupational Therapy International. doi:10.1155/2019/7092695
10. Aziz, N. A. & Ahamd, Y. (2017). The quality of life of aging population: A study among older person who received long term care services at old folks’ home, Penang. Journal of Administrative Science, 14(3).
11. Bidin, A. & Mohd Yusoff, J. Z. (2015). Abuse of the Malaysian elderly: An analysis on the
12. adequacy and suitability of the Domestic Violence Act 1994 (Act 521) to protect the elderly victim. Journal of Management Research, 7(2), 71-81.
13. Briandana, R. & Dwityas, N. A. (2018). Comedy Films as Social Representation in the Society: An Analysis of Indonesian Comedy Films, International Journal of Humanities & Social Science Studies, IV(V), 107-118.
14. Brown, R. L. (2011). Economic security in an aging Canadian population. Canadian Journal on Aging, 30(3), 391-399.
15. Christina, C., & Yuen, M. (2017, February 5). All the single ladies. The Star Online. Retrieved from
16. Devasahayam, T. W. (2014). Gender and ageing: Southeast Asian perspectives. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
17. Doris, P. S., Idris, N. A., & Abu Bakar, N. (2010). Warga emas di Malaysia: Ke arah kesejahteraan ekonomi dan social. Bangi: UKM Press.
18. Georgakopoulou, A. (2000). On the sociolinguistics of popular films: Funny characters, funny voices. Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 18(1), 119–133.
19. Gerbner, G., & Gross, L. (1976). Living with television: The violence profile. Journal of
20. Communication, 26(2), 173-199.
21. Hadeel, H., Synneve, D. I., Ulla, S., & Carin, W. (2018). Perspective of older adults on aging well: A focus group study. Journal of Ageing Research, 1-8. doi:10.1155/20 18/9858252Harun, 2017
22. Harun, S. (2017). Warga emas terabai. Retrieved from /warga-emas-terabai/
23. John Siop, S. (2017). Older people health: Issues and challenges. Retrieved from http://www.
24. Kaimann, D. & Pannicke, J. (2015). Movie success in a genre-specific contest: Evidence from the US film industry. Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers, No. 98, Technische Universität, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Ilmenau. Retrieved from
25. Mafauzy, M. (2000). The problems and challenges of the aging population of Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Medical Science, 7(1), 1-3.
26. Masud, J., Abdul Hamid, T. A., & Haron, S. A. (2013). Economic well-being of Malaysian elderly: Inequality amid prosperity. Retrieved from https://www.mier.
27. Mat Saad, Z., Hatta, Z. A., & Mohamad, N. (2010). The impact of spiritual intelligence on the health of the elderly in Malaysia. Asian Social Work and Policy Review, 4, 84–97.
28. McDaniel, S. A., & Rozanova, J. (2011). Canada’s Aging Population (1986) Redux. Canadian Journal on Aging, 30(3), 511-521.National Research Council, 2012
29. Melissa, C. (2014, October 5). Retirement crisis brewing as EPF savings suggest pensioner poverty. The Malay Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.themalaymailonline. com/malaysia/article/retirement-crisisbrewing-as-epf-savings-sug gest-pensioner-poverty
30. Mohd, S. (2014). Poverty issues among Malaysian elderly. Proceeding of the Social Sciences Research ICSSR 2014. Retrieved from /51ca/e2b4d188f3a4b952ec4848525e31c7dede98.pdf
31. Mohd Salleh, M. F. (2017). Ageing in an inclusive society: Social support system for older persons in Malaysia. Retrieved from uploads/files/Muat%20Turun/MOST/S4_P1_Tuan%20Hj_%20Fazari.pdf
32. Momtaz, Y. A., Abdul Hamid, T. A., Haron, S. A., & Bagat, M. F. (2016). Flourishing in later life. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 63, 85-91.
33. Muhammad Nur, A., Aljunid, S. M., Ismail, N., Haron, S. A., Shafie, A. A., Mohamed Nor, N., Salleh, M., … Maimaiti, N. (2017). Provider cost of treating dementia among the elderly in government hospitals in Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine, 17(2), 121-127.Muneeza & Hashim, 2010).
34. National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia. (2016). Fifth Malaysian population and family survey 2014. Kuala Lumpur: National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia.
35. Poi, P. J., Forsyth, D. R., & Chan, D. K. Y. (2004). Services for older people in Malaysia: Issues and challenges. Age and Ageing, 33, 444-446.
36. Queenan, J. (2017). ‘Contrived, vulgar and stupid’: Going in Style and the rise of the geriatric buddy movie. Retrieved from c-buddy-movies-going-in-style-contrived-vulgar-stupid-michael-caine
37. Ramely, Ahmad, and Mohamed Harith. (2018a). Socio-demographic characteristics of Malaysian elderly: Which characteristics should be inextricably intertwined with late-life employment? International Journal for Studies on Children, Women, Elderly and Disabled, 5, 47-55.
38. Ramely, Ahmad, & Mohamed Harith. (2018b). Understanding Socio-demographic Patterns and Wellbeing Dimensions of the Elderly in Malaysia: The Way Forward in Reaching an Age Nation by 2030, Journal of Administrative Science, 15(1).
39. Soriano, C. A. F., Sarmiento, W. D., Songco, F. J. G., Macindo, J. R. B., & Conde, A. R. (2016). Socio-demographics, spirituality, and quality of life among community-dwelling and institutionalized older adults: A structural equation model. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 66, 176-182.
40. Springfield. (2017). Going in style 2017 Movie script. Retrieved from https://www.spring
41. United Nations. (2015a). World population ageing. Retrieved from /en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/ageing/WPA2015_Report.pdf
42. United Nations. (2009). World population prospects: The 2008 revision. New York, NY: United Nations. Retrieved from
43. Vandaele, J. (2002). Humor Mechanisms in Film Comedy: Incongruity and Superiority.
44. Poetics Today, 23(2), 221–249.
45. Westley, S. B., Sang-Hyop, L., & Mason, A. (2000). Policy options to support Asia’s growing elderly population: Asia-Pacific Population & Policy. Honolulu: East-West Center. Retrieved from
46. Yahaya, N., Momtaz, Y. A., Othman, M., Sulaiman, N. & Mat Arisah, F. (2012). Spiritual well-being and mental health among Malaysian adolescents. Life Science Journal, 9(1), 440-448.
47. Yusof, S. N., & Zulkifli, Z. (2014). Rethinking of old age: The emerging challenge for Malaysia. Paper presented at International Conference on Linguistics, Literature and Arts. Retrieved from 9ce4185c626e136c8ae15152.pdf
48. Zaid, S. M., Abu Yamin, A., & Mohd Yaacob, N. (2019). Ageing in place: The design practice compliance to accessibility legislation and standards in Malaysia for eldery home environment. Ekoloji, Online-First Article, e107027, 1-12.
49. Zawawi, R. (2013). Active ageing in Malaysia. Retrieved from http://www.mhlw.go .jp/stf/shingi/2r98520000036yla-att/2r98520000036yql.pdf
50. Zillmann, D. (2000). The coming of media entertainment. In D. Zillmann & P. Vorderer (Eds.), Media entertainment: The psychology of its appeal (p. 1–20). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
51. Zimmer, Z., Jagger, C., Chiu, C, Ofstedal, M. B., & Saito, Y. (2016). Spirituality, religiosity, aging and health in global perspective: A review. SSM Population Health, 2, 373-381.