A Review of Killers (2014): A Great Mix of Funny Indonesia and Stone-Headed Japan

 

 

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The plot of the movie is thoroughly dark and you cannot expect any happy ending. Killers (2014) is not my taste, however, I say “go” for anyone except children for three reasons—the beauty of linking two storylines, the mix of humor, extremely thrilling violence.

Firstly, the greatest part of the film is the success of linking totally different characters living in two countries—Japan and Indonesia. There is an ‘established’ serial killer in Tokyo, Shuhei Nomura (Kazuki Kitamura, 北村一輝), and he records his ‘masterpieces’ and post on internet. Bayu Aditya (Oka Antara), a cameraman in Jakarta, becomes attracted to it and that changes himself, gradually and gradually. You cannot turn your eyes away from the struggle of Bayu. The climax is when the two cross the path.

Secondly, the film does not forget funny factors. It should be the work of two Indonesian directors—Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto. It is not an easy task to tell in texts, then please check it at a theater. The actors will ease your tension several times.

Typically Japanese filmmakers are not good at adding humor in serious movies. They tend to stick to create one world in one color. The collaboration would have provided nice lessons to Japanese films, too.

Lastly, Killers has extremely crazy violence. Mostly scream and blood. Watching the movie with children is NOT recommended.

Oka Antara, an Indonesian actor

Oka Antara, an Indonesian actor

 

 

I got a chance to talk with Oka today and he said, “Bayu has a daughter and her afterlife will be nightmare.” As the movie’s title suggests, a killer makes another killer. I personally believed that the message of the film was how to overcome the dark side of humanity, but the hopelessness was a nice theme to discuss about. Killers depicts the reason of the birth of a killer and the chain results.

I would like to point out one more thing. According to Oka, Kitamura was not a good English speaker and they had to use a translator to communicate with (Oka is Indonesian-English bilingual). He said Kitamura is an awesome actor and can read what directors or counterparts want to him. It should be a great plus for Japanese actors to experience more in international fields.

Excited movie-lovers waiting for Killers

Excited movie-lovers waiting for Killers

Jakarta’s Priority is Monkeys, Not Children

Little beggars are having tough lives with a monkey in Kuningan, Jakarta.

Little beggars are having tough lives with a monkey in Kuningan, Jakarta.

Today I am a little serious about what Jakarta is doing. According to an Indonesian English paper, The Governor Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is eager to protect monkeys, but shows less passion for helping street children. I would like to raise a question about the move.

Jakarta Globe’s article published on Oct 21st, City Set to Free Masked Monkeys, says that Jakarta is going to eliminate topeng monyet, or masked monkey performances, to save exploited monkeys by cruel tamer. That is a follow-up of Jakarta Ramps-Up Efforts to End Masked Monkey Performances on Oct 19th.

The greatest improvement of newer one is the clear perspective of the writer. Deti Mega Purnamasari questioned whether helping monkeys with putting struggling street children aside was correct or not. The article itself didn’t focus on the issue. I guess it was because of Jokowi’s ability to catch journalists’ hearts. He should be the hero and almost no one has said bad things at him.

I, personally, cannot stop saying “what are you doing, Jakarta!” My point is simple: Children before monkeys.

The monkey show is not actually a performance, but just a begging strategy. The lovely friend with a long tail is exploited and I also believe the current situation should be improved.

However, dozens times more children are also exploited by poor or bad adults. Rumor says there are syndicates forcing kids to get money from people and when I work around streets I often see guys hiding behind child beggars. It is possible that they are poor parents, too. Whatever, children are used as tools.

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Time to leave..

The greatest concern of me is the possibility of worsening exploited kids’ life by just getting rid of monkeys. Who can say that the guys who used to have monkeys is not going to use alternatives? You know what, the most likely candidates are kids.

I would like to know the definition of topeng monyet for Jokowi. Some monkeys are trained well and can do several performances, but there are also lazy mascot-ish ones. The latter sometimes collaborate with street children to collect money. Does Jakarta literally mean monkeys wearing masks?

Monkeys with the creepy masks call pities and photographers love to take photos, including me. In my view, the concern of the governor is mainly on international image. According to Jakarta Globe, Jokowi said, “the exploitation of monkeys for performances has become an international issue and the city administration will act immediately to save them.”

I cannot clearly remember, but this year a pic showing a chained monkey wearing a mask got an award as one of the best journalistic photos. Is it the reason?

I believe it is far better to allocate the budget to help and educate street children. Jakarta is helping them with smart card, but does Jokowi know there are many children who do stop begging money although they can live properly without doing it?

If the disease of monkeys are the problem, the easiest way is to execute them. To buy monkeys from owners, preparing for havens for them and train former-owners to get new jobs—how much will you use for getting more popularity, Mr. Jakarta?

 

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Street Children in Jakarta

Jakartan Heart

Jakartan Heart

“Which song do you like?” A street musician trio asked me. I said “Laskar Pelangi,” the only Indonesian song I recalled at the moment.
Their performance was not fantastic. It was like high school student band which had started their activity several weeks ago.
Imperfect and unsophisticated, but the song echoed loud at the center of the capital city. It was really touchy.
I was thinking about the shape of Jakarta with listening the corny sound. There were many luxury hotels and malls there, but in Indonesia, the heartwarming archipelago, it looked like odd monuments.

Monas Street Performance

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I went to Monas in Jakarta and saw a show during Lebaran. It was not a skillful performance, but a thrill-focused entertainment.
Weird thing was, some audiences first tried to walk away because of terror,  but came back. Their faces said, “what happens next?”
Maybe something precious is broken in the city.