This movie promoted as a campy, candy-colored romp. While parts of it are that, they are interspersed with lots of violence, including slashing a child with a sword. Much of the violence is directed towards the transsexuals although some of it comes from them in the way of vengeance. Part of that is sexual violence, or the threat of sexual violence, from the protagonist towards her enemy. One minute there's singing drag queens, the next, things are really heavy.
The plot is about drag queens/transsexuals in Indonesia and the harsh repression they face. In the surreal fantasy world of this movie, a superhero emerges who will take vengeance on their behalf through supernatural means. There is also a subplot about human trafficking. Apparently the same kind of repressive, right wing idiots we are having trouble with in the US have dopplegangers in other places.
The protagonist just doesn't look anything like a woman. He/she is just not prepossessing and seems sort of vacant and disjointed much of the time. It was a little hard to picture her as a superhero. One of her skills is supposed to be magical dancing. That's hard to take because she isn't a good dancer.
The plot gyroscopes all over the place. Even within the fantasy world of this movie, many times you feel like they fell through the rabbit hole into a weird sub-plot that seemed to go on too long. They could cut this movie down considerably.
The visuals ARE often often stunning. The sets and costumes were often striking. The Indonesian dance troupe is great. Some money was spent on this movie.
I'm a heterosexual female. I do see movies at the gay film festival where I live, as do a lot of film buffs. As for how other types of people might like this movie, it was shown at the film festival in the middle of the day on Sunday. The theater was about half full. About a third of the audience was laughing a lot. About a third or half where clapping at the end of the movie. There were some transsexuals there and they really seemed to like this movie a lot. So some people liked this movie a lot more than I did, but beware of false advertising: this isn't a "candy-colored romp" for most people. Not suitable for minors, and not because it's about gays/transsexuals.
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