Tag Archives: joko anwar

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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What’s Stopping Indonesia?

It’s been a long time since I write on my blog, and unfortunately, I won’t be writing about anything fun or easy to read. This time I’m going to write about Indonesia’s economic stagnation. First of all, in terms of stagnation, I think it’s best to say that it means “slow growth” instead of “stop growing” or “pausing” or anything of the sort. You get the picture? Well I hope you do 🙂

What struck me to do this post is Joko Anwar’s tweet today about Indonesia. Coincidentally, I was doing my Globalization and Strategy’s assignment on capital and authority, and I thought I had the answer for that. Thanks to Francis Fukuyama’s article on this matter, it really inspired me 🙂

Given the abundance of natural resources of Indonesia, it’s hard to believe that the country is still lacking on economic power. For example, compared to Japan, Indonesia’ industrial structure are far more abundant, yet it’s far behind Japan in terms of economic power. I will write few paragraphs of Fukuyama’s writing on this, and I will review it afterwards.

The difference in industrial structure have to do with what the sociologist James Coleman labeled social capital, which is the component of human capital that allows members of a given society to trust one another and cooperate in the formation of new groups and association (Fukuyama, 1995:90).

A number of forms of social capital enable people to trust one another and build economic organizations. The most obvious and natural one is the family, with the consequence that the vast majority of businesses, historically and at present, are family businesses (Fukuyama, 1995:91)

The most important form of sociability from an economic standpoint is the ability of strangers (that is, non-kin) to trust one another and work together in new and flexible forms of organization. This type of spontaneous sociability is frequently weakened by cultures that emphasize family relationships to the exclusion of all others. In many cultures, there is something of a tradeoff between the strength of family ties and the strength of kinship bonds. Moreover, if familism is not accompanied by the strong emphasis on education and work in Confucian or Jewish cultures, for example, then it can lead to a stifling morass of nepotism and inbred stagnation (Fukuyama, 1995:91).

I think it’s pretty clear from Fukuyama’s view on social capital, trust, and its discourse onto nepotism. In my opinion, this is what’s stopping Indonesia from developing its economic power: there is no good education and work ethics. Sure, Indonesia had many intelligent students, but they don’t have that ‘it’ factor where they can be beneficial to their country. Most of them were ignored by their own country, and what happens next? They go to another country where they are insured of having a prosperous life. Okay, I think it’s overrated, but it’s the bitter truth.

Aside from the amount of intelligent people, the education system in Indonesia itself is flawed. Let’s just say that the Ministry had too much to ask for the students with the increase of minimal grades to graduate. I’ve been in there, and I know how stressful it was to bet your three years of high school on three days of national examination. One day, there was one student, a mathematical genius who won the Olympics of something of the sort, and he/she flunked the examinations. Hard to believe, but it’s true. The stress level can also lead to illegal ways to pass the exam, such as buying the answers or cheating. Anything, as long as it ensures them to graduate. The habit of doing whatever it takes to reach their goals also leads to laziness in college or in work, which I think it’s pretty clear that it’s the case when there’s always the easy way.

What Indonesia need right now is investing on good education and work ethics. It’s as simple as that! I think the first step of doing it is deregulating the educational system. With a good system, comes a good product, and vice versa. Increasing the education quality by raising the standards is incorrect. I myself don’t have any suggestion whatsoever for a good educational system, but I’ve been there in that position where I bet on my high school years, I’ve done that, and I know that something’s wrong with the system. To educate means to teach someone, and hopefully, it’s a good lesson for your everyday life. When it’s not a good lesson, what’s the point of having any education system at all?

Source: Fukuyama, F., 1995. Social Capital and the Global Economy. Foreign Affairs, 74(5), pp.89-103.

P.S.: to download Fukuyama’s article, you can click here

UPDATED: click here for the response for this post.

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