Mengejar Matahari is a coming of age tale of four childhood friends in a Jakarta ghetto whose bonds are tested as they grow into adulthood. They share a nightly ritual, "chasing the sun" (... See full summary »
Agni P. Arkadewi,
Naga Bonar is a pickpocket. During the withdrawal of the Japanese occupying forces from Indonesia in 1945 he declares himself a general of the Liberation Forces. Soon a mask becomes his true self, and he becomes a true soldier and patriot.
The theme of this movie is very common in Hollywood pictures, a boy's dream to become a sport star, but this theme is rarely explored in Indonesian movies. This makes it very special in the history of Indonesian cinema, especially since it depicts the most popular sport in Indonesia, which is football (or in American English: soccer), while being the most popular sport, Indonesian national football team never again reach its peak in 1950-s era, when the team successfully held Russian team 0-0 in the Olympic Games.
The movie is lightly written, and lightly delivered, but the directors succeed in delivering all the potential of the movie. Yes, the story line look a bit too good to be true, but come on, it is a children movie, all of them are too good to be true.
The other compliment for the movie makers are their success in depicting children world as it is. You have friendship, puppy love, and sneaking out, and so on. A character in the movie which is a driver plays as the comic to add up to the cheer of the movie. All the children actors acted naturally and beautifully. It is the performance of the adult actor that is not at the highest point, especially for the coach character.
But it still lack of some magical ingredients to make it an extraordinary movie. It is a common movie about a common dream of a common kid, in a common country. It's the story itself that limits the movie, to be compared with Slumdog Millionaire or Spiderwick Chronicles for example. But nevertheless, the team has work very hard and successfully to deliver it to the max.
This movie really lights the day in Indonesia cinema, which too full of low quality horror movies, or low sexual comedies, and it brings the dream that one day, our football team can be a great team, and can compete in World Cup. It is a dream of all Indonesian, children and adults.
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