Tag Archives: indonesia

Modus Anomali (2012)


A man is on a holiday in the woods with his wife and two kids when they are surprised by the arrival of an uninvited guest. Suddenly, he experiences a time lapse. Before he understands what’s going on, he finds himself separated from his family. And when he starts finding several alarm clocks that seem to have been planted throughout the woods, he knows he has to race with time if he wants to see his family alive.

Basically that was sort of the synopsis of the movie from Rotten Tomatoes, and to be honest, I can’t tell you further or I’ll spoil the story. I’m guessing this review might not be spoiler-free too for some people, even though I WILL NOT reveal the ending here.

Last year I’d been waiting for this movie to be released in cinemas, because, well, I love Joko Anwar’s works (his movie “Pintu Terlarang” was good too, by the way, so make sure you check it out too). Unfortunately, when this movie came out, I was in Malaysia for a student exchange, so I couldn’t enjoy the cinematic experience. Thankfully, the DVD version of the movie came out, so I could still (sort of) enjoy it at home.

First of all, for a 86-minute-thriller, this movie is quite slow, so be patient. I was quite bored the first 30 minutes, but good things come to those who wait, and trust me, it was WORTH IT. There are many things to highlight about this movie, and I couldn’t list which one is the most important, so I’ll just list it in order of “appearance”.

1. The language. I know this is an Indonesian movie, but the movie is in English. Literally. I don’t know why, but somehow we have this understanding that if the movie is Indonesian, then the title and the language used in the movie must be Indonesian. Well not Modus Anomali. The title might be very Indonesian, but the language used is full-on English. Some might get annoyed with the Indonesian-accent or the English used in the movie (and all the props inside), but not me. I’m really happy with it.

2. The main actor, Rio Dewanto. His expressions throughout the movie really made the movie, and really made you question the clues you gather along the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I’ve seen his act on “Arisan 2” (where he acted as a gay guy, and trust me, he looked really gay then), and also on “?” (Tanda Tanya), and he is really, really good.

3. The make-ups and props. There’s nothing more satisfying than a thriller/gore movie with a decent and beliavable blood, scar, or wound, and Modus Anomali scored with flying colors.

4. The story. Most thriller movie ends with every questions and mysteries answered in the end, and you get out of the cinema with a certain satisfaction of knowing about it. For me, this doesn’t happen with Modus Anomali. You finish the movie with questions and doubts; you doubt whether the movie is good or not; whether your guess about the plot is the right one or not; or whether the clues you picked up along the way are real. In a way, this movie forces you to discuss it with people who watch it with you, and when you finally understand about the premise of the movie, you’ll actually think, “Damn, this is genius.”

I might be exageratting, but that’s what I felt after watching the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I watched The Conjuring, but I’m not satisfied with it. Sure, it’s quite scary, but in the end, it’s not that good compared to other horror movies I’ve watched. With Modus Anomali, I was not sure the movie was good or not, and I started having questions But after I found the answers, I was really satisfied, and understood what Joko Anwar want. This is a good movie.

But, if there’s any similarities between Modus Anomali with The Conjuring, is I wish it can go at least a step further. It can be better, this is why I give Modus Anomali 9 out of 10.

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Perahu Kertas (2012)

I needed a day to think about what I want to write about this movie, cause I had a hard time deciding what I feel about the movie. I know I was excited to watch this movie, partly because it’s an adaptation from one of my favorite Indonesian writer, Dewi ‘Dee’ Lestari.

For you who haven’t read the novel, Perahu Kertas (or Paper Boat, in English) is a story about two youngsters Kugy and Keenan, where they tried to find their role and passion in life. The story revolves around these two, with Neptune as their witness. Curious? It’s a really interesting story by Dee, although I must say it’s not my favorite among all her works.

Aside from the story, I really enjoyed the casts. Hanung Bramantyo and Dee picked the perfect casts, from the peculiar Kugy (Maudy Ayunda), cool and collected Keenan (Adipati Dolken), lovely couple Noni (Sylvia Fully) and Eko (Fauzan Smith), the young curator Wanda (Kimberly Ryder), the mature, almost Goddess-like Luhde (Elyzia Mulachela), and the Knight in shining armor Remi (Reza Rahardian). Overall, I’m happy with the casts, cause they played their parts perfectly.

Now, my favorite part of the movie: the scoring. I fell in love with Dee after the Rectoverso album, and I’m glad she’s involved in the scoring of Perahu Kertas also. The soundtracks are perfect for the movie. Not to mention Maudy Ayunda’s voice is perfect in singing Perahu Kertas, the main soundtrack for the movie. You can see that I said the word “perfect” many times, and trust me, it’s lack of better words.

I must say that I had a mixed feeling about the movie after I stepped out of the theatre, and my friend, with whom I watched the movie with, haven’t read the novel, so she can’t really say much about it. Throughout the movie, I knew it was not that far from how Dee described the settings and characters. I enjoyed it, but I felt something missing from the movie. I hope it’s only the fact that there are two parts of the movie, and maybe I’ll feel complete after I watch the second part.

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One Lucky Bastard Indeed.

Tonight, at exactly 7 PM (GMT +7), the destiny for over 600.000 high school graduates in Indonesia will unveil. They fought for only about 106.000 seats in the university of their dreams, and the results are in. Most of the tweets from the youngsters clearly shows that they’re nervous. Well, I did, so I know how they feels.

It was also about 4 years ago when I waited for my result. Only difference is, I didn’t really want to go to a state university. I was more interested in getting into a private university, with most of my high school friends. In a state university, I don’t know anyone. Yes, I’m that insecure. At that time, I didn’t really care about anything else, because if I fail, then I can just go to the private university. Problem solved.

It was also around July when I waited for my results. Around 9, my Dad came to my room and said, “Don’t you want to see the test results? You can check it on the internet. I can take you there.”

Yes, he’s nervous. I can tell. But I just shrugged, and said, “No, it’s fine. I can just check it on the newspaper tomorrow morning.” Before you ask, the results are actually available in two formats: internet, and the newspaper. Only difference is, you have to wait until morning to check the results. If your name is not on the list, then you’re not accepted.

After I said that, he went out of my room, and left me to my games. I didn’t care. I’m not curious. I didn’t even study well for the acceptance test. At the end of my test, I said to myself, “If I get in, then it’s truly what you want, God, cause I know I’m not satisfied with what I did. If I get in, then it’s my destiny to go to a state university.”

However, around midnight, I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about the test results. I kept thinking why my parents wanted me to go to a state university so bad. Some time during high school, when I said I wanted to be an International Relations student, my parents said no. And then, when I already set my mind to be a natural science student, they wanted me to be a social science student instead. I couldn’t help but wonder why.

Around 6 in the morning, my alarm went off. It’s around the time when the newspaper boy deliver the newspaper. I went out, and the newspaper was there. I took it inside, and read the results, one by one. I didn’t even care if it’s not the major that I applied to, I see it one by one.

By the time I reached my major, I left out a sigh, and said to myself, “This is it.”

And there it was. My name is on the list… I didn’t believe it at first, but when I took a second glance, I knew that it really was my name. I jumped with excitement, and went to my parents’ room to tell them.


My Mom just got up, and she cried. She hugged me and I heard her say “Thank God, Thank God.” I glanced at my Dad, and he was crying. After the most dramatic test results reading ever, they went out, wore their reading glasses, and read the test result. I was still trembling with excitement when I saw Mom calling my brother (he was still working in Bali at that time) and my Dad looked at the test results.

I knew he’s relieved. He was nervous, because if I didn’t get in, he had to pay for my tuition at the private university, which is about ten times my tuition at the state university. He was nervous, because he was afraid I couldn’t finish my education, or worse, couldn’t finish it in time.

It was by far the most dramatic family moment. It was also the first time I saw my parents cry because they’re happy, and I could tell that they were so proud of me. When I arrived at my grandma’s house to check on my Mom, all the newspaper were highlighted. I didn’t know who did it, but all my relatives congratulated me for it, and I knew that getting into a state university is a big deal. Only 1 in 6 can get it, and I was that lucky bastard 😀

Until now, if I feel like International Relations was not my calling, I always trace back to that day, the day when I saw my name on the list. It was destiny that I’m an International Relations student.

p.s.: it was about a month later when I knew that the International Relations major of Airlangga University is one of the most prestigious major in Indonesia, make it one of the hardest major to get into.

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I have a love-hate relationship with instant noodles. I love the taste, but I hate it when I realize that it’s not a healthy food to eat. It’s a pity, actually, because I like making instant noodles. Easy to make and customize, at least for me 🙂

Anyways, I found an interesting page tonight. A fella named Hans Lienesch, or also known as The Ramen Eater listed the Top Ten Best Instant Noodles in the World. You can read the list here.

Out of all ten noodles, I’ve eaten three of them. Yes, they’re all Indonesian, and yes, all three lived up for their reputation. They’re all very tasty for instant noodles, and totally worth the calories 😀

Now that the Ramen Eater has listed the top ten best noodles, I guess I can add one more thing to my bucket list: try all of them!

p.s.: The best noodle is actually my brother’s favorite noodle. My mom used to buy one every time we go shop for groceries. It’s best eaten with eggs, although sometimes I add sausage too 🙂

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Another Indonesia-Malaysia Dispute: Tortor Dance

I disappear a lot do I?

Oh well.

It’s month 4 at the neighbor country. Less than a month left before going back to my homeland, and I can’t wait! Been dreaming a lot about going to the airport, but always wake up before I board the plane. It’s not important. Other than the fact that my subconscious can’t wait to go back.

But never mind.

Anyway, seems like Indonesia and Malaysia got another culture to fight about. This time, it’s Tortor dance. It’s clearly an Indonesian culture from North Sumatra. Tapanuli, to be exact. I heard something about Malaysia wanted to claim it as its own. However, some news stated that it’s just a misunderstanding. Malaysia acknowledged the culture, but not exactly want to claim it.

Which one is the right one?

I don’t know, you can’t really trust the media these days. They tend to twist the stories and make it sounds like one side is right, and the other is wrong, even if the truth said the otherwise.

Aside from the fact that the truth is unclear, both Indonesian and Malaysian people started their fight (again) through social media. I just found out few hours ago that one Malaysian Twitter account got hacked by an Indonesian hacker because the owner said some really awful things about Indonesian people.


It’s another thing to say that one culture is yours, but it’s really uncalled for to mock them. Seriously, both sides act like kids. But as an Indonesian, I know how it feels when you know that it’s an Indonesian culture, yet Malaysian people says it’s theirs.

One thing I remember most is when I was on my Orientation Week at USM, and the Student Buddies were presenting about Malaysian cultures and local clothes. One of the Buddies wore Kebaya, and said that it’s an original Malaysian clothes.

And I’m like, “Say what?”

I’m a pure Javanese, and I KNOW that it’s been an Indonesian culture for centuries. If anything, it should be a Melayu culture, not Malaysian. Since, you know, Malaysia was originally part of Indonesia.

Shocked? Well here’s the simple explanation.

Before the European colonization began, there was a kingdom called Majapahit. In its prime time, the kingdom was so big, it encompassed most of the modern-day Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, and Southern Thailand. You can read more here.

Now you get why Indonesian and Malaysian people fight a lot, right? We’re practically siblings! As young countries who love their nation a lot, it’s only normal that we love it more than we love ourselves.

All I’m saying is that both need to stop this. Indonesia have to stop acting like they care about your vast cultures, when most of the people don’t really know their own cultural clothes, songs, etc.

And Malaysian need to stop with this “culture-claim” thing they’ve been doing. It’s getting old. Make your own. Oh, and the word “indon”? It’s not nice. Stop it.

One more thing. I still think that Indonesia is the TRUEST ASIA. You better change your tourism slogan, Malaysia.

Sue me.


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Minggu Pagi di Victoria Park (2010)

Finding a decent movie in Indonesia is like finding a needle in a hay sack. It’s close to impossible, but when you find it, it’s worth the search. Minggu Pagi di Victoria Park (Sunday Morning in Victoria Park) in my opinion is one of the few decent movie in Indonesia. Sets in downtown Hong Kong, the movie captures the life of Indonesian labor, especially women.

The main character of the movie is Mayang (Lola Amaria) who works in Hong Kong to search for Sekar (Titi Sjuman). Despite their hate for each other, Mayang still searched high and low for the troubled Sekar. The movie also captures the images of women labor overseas (or in this case, Hong Kong). Only few of the cast is a professional (and when I say professional, I meant those who ever act in front of the camera), but they all played their role naturally.

Unfortunately, I personally think that the movie lacks its “drama” for Mayang. In the movie, Mayang is quite fortunate compared to the negative image of Indonesian labors overseas. Some also say that Lola Amaria’s blank expression in her acting made Mayang so rigid, although I personally think that she played the role beautifully. Nevertheless, Lola Amaria succeeded in conveying Indonesian laboring overseas in her perspective.

This movie really worth the time (and money if you have to pay to watch) by Indonesian people, especially those who named the Indonesian labor by “Devisen Heroes”. Also, this movie is very suitable as a socialization medium for labor applicants who wants to work overseas, so that they can reconsider their decision, not just because of the salary in foreign currency. Therefore, I rank this movie 7,5 out of 10.

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