I would deem this film a mind journey. Many of the events that occur to the lead are there to steer his thoughts in certain directions. The treatment leaves much to be worked on because very often instead of letting the events or emotions speak for themselves, they are verbalised to him. The characters speak out the issues for him and perhaps for us to ponder.
First there was that friend who enlisted earlier. In reaction to his sympathetic well-wishes to his friend slights it, explaining that by being dampened by enlistment, he becomes victim to the system. Weeks later, upon meeting up, his friend shares that he chooses to hang out more instead of resting at home in order not to 'lose' any more hours to national service. Then at church, he faces an opposing view from a charismatic group leader. In rehearsing for a play, his mates counsel him (which i found a little odd), but it is the leader's words that had the most resonance. Then back home, he has a doting mother and a more composed father who chooses not to intervene. While I reckoned the parents' views matter marginally to the boy, the mum turned out to be a more significant voice than I thought in his mental sphere. When she catches the boy alone, she treads the fine line between baby-sitting him and flirting with him. So while all that she says is consequential, she does say something important towards the end of the film.
However, the voice that cuts most deeply seems to be that of the female schoolmate who rejected his pursuit. She epitomises a JC prototype, the intellectual, conscientious straight As Arts/Humanities Stream student who could possibly be the object of many boys' affections. She even has that typical JC scrungee on her hair. She didn't have to say very much but the grounds of her rejection of his love thwarts his thoughts about national service in an oblique way. Basically she wants a partner who chases, who protects, and who also probably fits well into the camouflage-green overalls.