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Merantau (2009) More at IMDbPro »


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6.8/10   6,261 votes »
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Gareth Evans (written by)
Daiwanne Ralie (translation)
View company contact information for Merantau on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 November 2009 (Singapore) See more »
Every journey must begin with one small step. See more »
In Minangkabau, West Sumatera, Yuda a skilled practitioner of Silat Harimau is in the final preparations... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
When drama and action combined perfectly See more (35 total) »


  (in credits order)

Iko Uwais ... Yuda
Sisca Jessica ... Astri

Christine Hakim ... Wulan

Mads Koudal ... Ratger
Yusuf Aulia ... Adit

Alex Abbad ... Johni

Yayan Ruhian ... Eric

Laurent Buson ... Luc

Donny Alamsyah ... Yayan
Ratna Galih ... Ayi
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Philip Hersh ... Ratger (voice: English version)

Directed by
Gareth Evans 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Gareth Evans  written by
Daiwanne Ralie  translation

Produced by
Rangga Maya Barack-Evans .... executive producer
Daiwanne Ralie .... line producer
Ario Sagantoro .... producer
Original Music by
Aria Prayogi 
Fajar Yuskemal 
Cinematography by
Matt Flannery (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Gareth Evans 
Makeup Department
Eni Sulismi .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Satrio Budiono .... sound designer
Satrio Budiono .... sound re-recording mixer
Ichsan Rachmaditta .... foley artist
Suhadi .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Didik Juwandi A. .... roto team
Other crew
Robin De Lano .... dubbing voice

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Merantau Warrior" - Singapore (English title), UK (DVD box title)
See more »
Rated R for strong bloody violence, and language
Indonesia:134 min (director's cut) | 106 min (international cut version)
Color (HD)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

During the first part of the movie which tells Yuda's daily life with his mother and brother, half of the dialogs are in Minang language (one of more than 500 local dialects and languages in Indonesia), and have to be subtitled into Indonesian in the Indonesian released.See more »
Plot holes: Yuda left his small bag on construction site after on previous day his wallet was stolen once and he know none of the construction worker and he slept for the whole night on there after crossing the fence illegally. (This scene doesn't appear on International version.)See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Raid 2 (2014)See more »


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20 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
When drama and action combined perfectly, 22 November 2009
Author: indiratiarani from Indonesia

Being an ardent lover of martial art flicks and all its heroes- Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa, to name my favourite ones- I have been waiting for a long time to have the hero of my own country, Indonesia; of our own martial art tradition, Silat.

My long wait is over now. Here comes Iko Uwais in his first movie, Merantau. It's hard not to compare the movie with Ong Bak, and Iko Uwais with Tony Jaa. Not only because the two movies come from the same region and introduce us to the new generation of martial art actors, but also because the vague similarities in their faces. But admitting bias as I am, I would say Merantau is a much better movie than Ong Bak and Iko Uwais is a much better actor than Tony Jaa.

Merantau story is quite simple and almost cliché. About this guy named Yuda, played by Iko Uwais, in his journey of Merantau, a tradition still very much in practice by the young males of Minang tribe in West Sumatera, in which they have to prove themselves worthy to be called a real man by migrating to other place and surviving against all odds in the new place, gaining new experience, new skills that will benefit their hometown or their village. Before going on Merantau, they usually prepare themselves with certain skill that would support their survival in the new place. Yuda's skill is Indonesian traditional martial art called Silat, or Silek in Minang language, of the Sumateran Tiger (Harimau) style. He wishes to establish a Silat school in Jakarta.

But in Jakarta, fate brings Yuda's journey to the life troubles of a stripper, Astri and her pickpocket brother, Adit. His goody country boy nature made Yuda can't let injustice happens to those siblings, although he has his own problem to be solved. Can Yuda help them? Will he survive in his new place and prove to people back home that he is a real man? You have to watch the movie by yourself and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Merantau gives a balanced combination of drama and action. Instead of watching a purely action movie, I feel like watching a drama whose main protagonist happens to be a really good martial artist. Supported by excellent casts, combining first time actors and the more experienced ones, the acting look natural. I can feel the anxiety, loneliness and despair of Adit when he was forced to hide when his sister was chased by the thugs. I can feel the rage and determination of Yuda when he broke into the strip club to safe Astri, and I become misty-eyed when Yuda's mother waves goodbye to Adit.

Iko Uwais proves himself to be a capable actor, despite the fact this is his first acting experience ever and he has to play the role of a guy from different ethnic group, with different accent and language and different Silat style. For those uninformed, during the first part of the movie some of the language used is Minang language, that I, an Indonesian of Betawian descent (just like Iko), has to read the subtitle to understand what it means. Iko is blessed with great camera presence and natural facial expression. He is able to give a sweet smile (he has wonderful smile indeed) and brutal angry face with enough convincing acting. A very good start for a new movie star whose last occupation was a truck driver for a telecom company.

However, what sell most from Iko's skills in the film is his fighting skills. The choreography team, led by Silat Harimau master, Edwel Datuk Rajo Gampo Alam (acts as Yuda's silat master in the movie) is smart enough to put Iko's skills in the combination style of Tony Jaa's brutality, Jet Li's fluidity and Jackie Chen's environmentally-inspired acrobat. Without using much tricks and less wire-fest than most current martial art movies, the films is able to show great fight scenes, that left me "Ouch, that must hurt so bad" uncountable times during the film. Numerous times the audience give big applause after the glorious fight scenes. Some of the scenes should also go into the "martial art cinematography history" as creative and mind-blowing. The laundry pole scene left many jaws dropped, while 'don't take my towel' scene led the audience into hilarious laughter (the small kid few rows in front of me couldn't stop laughing for quite a long time).

In short, Merantau is a movie you should not be missed if you're an action junkie. If you're a drama type junkie, Merantau offers enough drama with strong characters and profound meaning of what it means to be doing your best for your survival and for your society. Gareth Evans is not Zhang Yi-Mou nor Ang Lee with their colossal wire fest kungfu fantasy, but he has proved that even modern realistic martial art cinematography can look this good and mean this deep.

4 out of 5 stars.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Merantau (2009)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Rip of from The Warrior King itchy_extremist
'Thank you' not in Indonesian culture? Deepfried-Egg
Did Yuda and Astri like each other? Vader993
Symbolism? mz-darday01
Favorite Character (Spoilers) ampking101
This movie disappoints... icstupidppl
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