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Berbagi suami (2006)
Ekskul and all its crew can go to hell! This IS the BEST INDONESIAN FILM of 2006!!!!
I just got the opportunity to watch this movie on VCD, and it was such a splendid time.
I can definitely say that comparing this film with such a highly pretentious horse s**t as 'Ekskul' was like comparing Heaven and Hell! ('Berbagi Suami' as Heaven, of course...) I honestly can't understand what the FFI-committee thought when they picked Ekskul as Best Picture. Furthermore, that horse s**t also won Best Director!! Oh, come on, give me a f**king break, will you?! Giving a 'Best Director' award to a director that, apparently, disliked 'The Godfather'?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! They should have given the award for Picture and Director to this movie, instead! Berbagi Suami is an earnest, simple film about three families adopting a polygamy way of life, and many consequences (not a few are dire ones) that they have to face. It is funny at times, heartbreaking, and will bring smiles to all the audiences.
Maybe the members of the FFI committee are just too cheesy to pick a film as beautiful as this one.
Too similar to the graphic novel
--contains major spoiler-- I want to state first that this is a great film. An awesome film.
Every scene is done like a painting; and throughout the film you get the feeling as if you're really watching Frank Miller's page leaps out to the big screen.
Most of the dialogs are cool (as almost all of them are taken directly from Miller's book, and Miller created many great lines in it), the story is a little bit fleshed out (the captain's son, Theron, the council, queen gorgo, the spartan way of raising kids, etc), and the combination of gorgeous art direction and stunning visual fx keeps your eyes nailed to the screen for the entire film.
There are many great things to say about this film. You can read them in other reviews available in the review's page. Yet, sadly, there's that thing that always bugs me when I watched this film on opening night here in Indonesia.
It is this: this film resembles the graphic novel too closely. Almost all (if not all) of the war tactics and plot points from the graphic novel appears in this film. From the death of the captain's son (and the captain's rampage), the Arcadians making a 'wondrous mess of things', the wall made of dead Persians (and later pushing all of them towards the Immortals), the elephants and the slippery dead Persian armies, to Leonidas's surrendering tactics at the end only to have Stelios attacking from behind him.
Sure, there are also awesome scenes that were not featured in comic, like Stelios and Astinos backing each other against the surrounding enemies, the captain's rampage is shown more, the Persian rhino.
But, as a whole, this film resembles the comic book in about just every single plot points! As a result, I felt like I already know everything that's going to happen. I was like, "Oh, so this is the capt's son, he's going to die later", "OK, now Leonidas is with the Ephors, and then they're gonna deny him the chance to engage a full war with the entire army, and then someone from Persia will visit the Ephors, then we'll know that they're corrupt", "Oh, so this is where the capt's son dies", "OK, Leonidas, drop your shield..., now your helmet..., and then..., and then..., there you go, your spear. Now, kneel..., kneel, yes, that's it. Now where's Stelios? Ah, there you are, leaping from behind..." almost all the time.
And when all of my thoughts are done exactly like I thought they'd be done, I was, well..., a little bit disappointed...
Now, maybe you'll say, "Well, duh! It's from Frank Miller's book! It's supposed to resemble the book!" Wait a second there. I happen to be an avid novel / graphic novel reader. Yet, when I watched films like the LOTR trilogy, Harry Potter films, and V For Vendetta, I was still amazed. When I watch Harry screams "EXPECTO PATRONUM!!!" at the end of azkaban, or when I watch that film's quidditch match, or when I see the quidditch world cup scene of Goblet of Fire, or when Gandalf marched down the hills of Helm's Deep to engage the Orcs in Two Towers, or when Sam says "I cannot carry it for you, Mr Frodo! But I can carry you!!" in Return of the King, or when I watch the "domino effect" scene in V for Vendetta, I am still amazed.
Yet, when I saw 300, I felt like I've seen it all, only on a different medium. And, well, I'm a little bit disappointed. Because, usually, I measure a greatness of film by remembering if there is a scene in the film which results as if time stands still, and your eyes, your ears, and your entire emotions are all poured into the scene, and your heart screams a silent amazement. Sadly, there are no such scene in 300.
I have great expectations of Zack Snyder. I loved his Dawn of the Dead remake. Yet, when I watch 300, I'm not so sure he'll be able to handle the adaptation of Watchmen, which has been hailed as one of the greatest achievements in comic world...