May 1998 riot is one among the darkest tragedy in Indonesian history, and until now the incident remained unsolved muddled beneath complicated political agenda. It takes a courage to make a movie about May 1998 riot, and director Viva Westi has taken her chance to direct it. This is not a historical movie, but a story that takes place during that tragedy and the impact felt by several characters in this movie, who seem to be unrelated but eventually form a beautiful thread of a story about love, passion, and humanity. Though filled with flashbacks the director managed to arrange everything neatly thus keep the audience excited until the film ends.
The cinematography, location selection, art directing, are very good, very realistic. No pretense or over exposure of luxury or dream life as shown in most mainstream Indonesian movie nowadays. This is what you will most likely see in real life everyday in Indonesia and Malaysia, where the story takes place.
All the casts give their best performance, and certainly a great start for a newcomer named Jenny Chang, although I feel she's rather awkward during singing performance, or maybe it's the singer voice (the dubber) that's not really matched Jenny's voice.
However, for a personal reason I feel the ending is rather unsuitable - I expect a bleaker finale due to the severe tragedy all characters have experienced. Nevertheless, the director might have other intention to present this story, so here it is. Despite some other minor technical problems like typos during subtitles or some rather off description of Chinese people, May is still a great Indonesian movie, and strongly recommended. Viva Viva Westi! Bravo.
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