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In Garuda di Dadaku, Bayu was a boy living with his widowed-mother and grandfather. Although talented in football, Bayu was under the strict regime of his granddad, who was deeply traumatized by the death of his footballer son in poverty. The tragedy left him an old grumpy who readily shouted a straight big No to football. Instead, granddad sent Bayu to different courses, from painting to maths, so that he could find and develop his potentials in fields other than just kicking the ball around.
Secretly, Bayu still played football and he got a massive support from his friend Heri, confined to a wheelchair ever since he's born. Being unable to live his own football dreams, Heri put all his efforts and sources to ensure that Bayu could enter the U-13 Indonesian football team, including smoothing his way to be accepted in Arsenal's Sekolah Sepakbola Indonesia (Indonesian Football Academy). (It's a real, flesh-and-bone academy, situated in Ciputat, my homebase.) The premise is quite simple, granted, but I was entertained throughout the film by the astonishing performance of the actors and actresses, especially that of Ramzi, the comedian who played Bang Dulloh, Heri's chauffeur.
Some pointed out the weak point of this film: the reason why granddad hated football so much. His views seemed to be too outdated and peculiar, she said. I cannot fully agree; anyway, granddad was ancient and I've met people who earnestly hated things for reasons simpler than granddad's (and I won't go into details here). As much as I respect these people's views, I beg to differ.
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