Upcoming 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

Screen shot 2014-02-19 at 4.49.56 PM

The Guardians of the Galaxy trailer is here. And it’s 80’stastic.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a highly anticipated Marvel movie, adapted from a cult comic of their own. This adaptation is directed by James Gunn (Super, Slither) and starring various actors from TV shows and well known actors from major blockbuster movies as well. It tells the story about Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star Lord (Chris Pratt, Parks and Rec) and four other individuals, known as the Guardians of the Galaxy: Gamora (Zoe Saldana, Avatar), Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper, The Hangover), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel, Fast and Furious), and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista, WWE champion). As Peter Quill finds an orb, the quintet found themselves hunted down by villains Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies) and Nebula (Karen Gillan, Doctor Who).

The trailer itself was debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Before the trailer’s released, Marvel released an exciting 15-second teaser, to ‘ease the waiting pain’. Well, that IS truly needed for people like me. Anyway, here it is:

The trailer itself is a joyride of cinematic proportions. It opens with an epic scenario of our hero entering the orb’s den. It leads to a rather comical background of the film; also a montage of events in the film. The music itself is a remix of Blue Swede’s Hooked on a Feeling, an 80s song (also, keep in mind that Peter Quill is an 80s kid). I’ve known this song since I watched Reservoir Dogs and it is a great blend to this trailer; quirky and unconventional.

Curious? Watch for yourself.

How’s that? So, clap your hands if you can’t wait 6 months for this movie to come out. Because, I can’t.

ALSO: When you think that this movie’s couldn’t get any better, that over there as Nova Corps Officers are John C. Reilly (Wreck-It Ralph, Step Brothers) and Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead, Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace). Makes you want to make a huge time machine, and transport yourself to August 2014 to a cinema near you.

Rainy Day Movies

It’s raining? Wanna watch something? I’ll offer you six movies from six genres to choose from.

1. Drama: Blue Jasmine (2013)

She's not Galadriel.

Cate Blanchett is striking the big screens once more, and she’s not Galadriel. Directed by drama director Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine is a tale that tells about a broken New York socialite with her life messed up moving to her sister’s apartment in San Francisco, coping with her new life, far from all the glam and glitz of the Big Apple. The film raises themes of social classes, lies, and corruption. This film might not do well on the script, but it highlights on Blanchett’s powerful performance. The entirely gloomy tone of the film with the subtle flow of the dialogue makes this film perfect for rainy day viewing.

2. Crime: Taxi Driver (1976)

taxidriver2I don’t really fit with Scorsese’s works but I found this movie really interesting. It’s about a Vietnam War veteran working as a night-shift taxi driver, observing all the  “scum off the streets” and looking forward to do something about it, as his mental state regresses. The movie’s packed with gloomy, mysterious tones, surrounding the storyline of someone’s own bubble’s being bursted; little by little. The jazzy, fit-for-rainy-days, yet very haunting score by Bernard Hermann might make this film one of your handy, chilly rainy day companions. (Also, 14-year-old Jodie Foster’s here – and she’s Oscar nominated for her performance).

3. Horror: The Shining (1980)

the-shiningAh, here it is – the famed head of Jack Nicholson! Surely everyone will probably agree if I were to say that this film is the second scariest film of all time (the first’s absolutely The Exorcist). It tells about a family who were asked to be caretakers of a mountain-y Colorado hotel for 6 months, and they discovered about the supernatural presence in that hotel as the father’s mind spirals into insanity. This is one of the rare horror films that focuses on the whole atmosphere of the film rather than worthless jump scares. If you’re living in somewhere snowy, I’d recommend you to watch this when it snows, as it can intensify the chills of the film. Well, if it’s raining, it can double the scares as well.

4. Romance: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

15Okay, I might’ve implied this: Jennifer. Lawrence. Nevertheless, her performance was undoubtedly marvelous in this movie. The film tells us about a mentally unstable divorcee out of a mental hospital who is struggling to get his life back on track and win his wife back; but as another mentally unstable widow came into his life, his plans got changed. All the performances in this movie are ACE; so’s David O Russell’s script, unless you’ve read the book, which makes the movie’s storyline a stormtrooper compared to the book’s storyline’s Palpatine. Anyways, this film’s good for rainy day screening because of all the light-yet-quirky atmosphere of the movie.

5. Comedy: Good Bye, Lenin! (2003)

good-bye-lenin-good-bye-lenin-10-09-2003-110-gWell, this German flick is the one that lifts Daniel Bruhl’s name to the public, way before Inglourious Basterds did. This film tells about a young man who lived in East Germany with a super nationalist mother. His mother went into a coma, and as she rests, the Berlin Wall goes down. To prevent her from fatal shock, the young man must hide out that fact to his awoken mother by any means. The film’s script is gold – I really want to meet the writers of this movie and say “How do you do ideas??” But, really though, this comedy (that lifts up issues such as political ideologies and globalization) shifts into something more of a tragedy as the running time goes on, and that’s the reason why it’s perfect for a rainy day.

6. Mindbender: Memento (2000)

polaroidYou’ll never get the hang of this movie. It tells about a man who suffers short term memory loss and started it after his wife’s got killed. Now, he’s searching for the person who killed his wife, and he realized that it’s not easy as it seems. See, this is a Christopher Nolan work and every Nolan work will leave you scratching your heads. Now, this film is, by far, in my opinion, the most mindbending Nolan work I’ve ever encountered, and the thrill and gloomy tone of this movie fits the rainy day screening setting. And, the rain will be there when you’re done watching this and spending your time contemplating about this movie. Also, talking about contemplation…

7. Science fiction: Moon (2009)

225.x600.film.moon.revIt’s very lonely up there. Very, very lonely. In this film, an astronaut who’s only accompanied by a robot in the moon feels the same; until, near the end of his stint, he discovered something strange. This is a truly underrated film, in my opinion. Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey’s voice are the only actors in the movie – resulting with a brilliant performance from both of them. This intelligent sci-fi will leave you with an existential crisis and a long time of contemplation. The mysterious, gloomy tone makes it perfect for rainy day viewing.

So, what’s your pick?

Upcoming 2014: Transcendence

“Is anyone th3re?”

Credits to MOVIECLIPS trailers.

Let me tell you what I think about this trailer in one sentence:

Underneath the star-studded cast of Johnny Depp and Co. lies a truly exceptional story that has a potential of being (probably) the best sci-fi movie ever, if only it was to be put in the right pair of hands.

Go watch the trailer. You won’t regret it.

The Lone Survivor: Outnumbered in The Front Line

Live to tell the story.
Live to tell the story.

To tell you the truth I thought this movie will contain less gore and more drama, at least that’s what I’m expecting when I watched the trailer. Turns out the screenplay shoved plenty of gory scenes, which was made complete by the excellent acting from Wahlberg and Co.

Synopsis

The entire story was based on Operation Red Wings. Now I don’t know about you but this name is completely unfamiliar to my ears before I watched the movie.

If I’m the military commander-in-charge I would consider this particular waste of lives a failure. To be exact, too much casualties is just the tip of the iceberg. You get to endanger nearby villages, waste one good Chinook, top-notch officers, and you’ll never know if your enemy turns out to be smart enough to make copies of looted M4s. Believe me, M4 terrorists are just too much to take on.

The operation, like other standard military operation, started with a recon mission which involved four personnels.

(From left to right) Taylor Kitsch, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Danny Dietz
(From left to right) Taylor Kitsch, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Danny Dietz.

In short, three of them died. Their cover was blown by shepherds from the nearest village and you can guess the next part.

There is some falling-from-the-cliff parts that I really need to give credit. Whoever did the sound effects is genius. The ‘CRACK’s made my uncle (who was also watching beside me at that time) go “ooh, that’s gotta hurt” and “aah, ouch, euh!” Frankly, I feel no better.

After being hunted down by the Talibans for an hour or so, the captain of the unfortunate team, Lieutenant Murphy, decided to make a call for help in open space since the signal reception was very bad. He died from several shots aimed at his back, but his try was worth it.

Backup showed up several minutes later, and Luttrell (The ‘Lone Survivor’) and his other teammate Axe cheered as they heard the familiar ‘chop-chop-chop’ sound of a helicopter’s rotor. But a single rocket from the Taliban’s RPG took care of that and as well the misson’s commander-in-charge (played by Eric Bana, I’ll always remember him as Hector from Troy. He’s cool).

Axe died after being shot to death precisely at his head, but Luttrell survived after concealing himself in an opening of a hill. He was bruised, battered, and severely injured at that moment.

The next day Luttrell was found by some friendly members of the village in a water source, practically dying. Luttrell was then carried to their house and had his wounds taken care of. He was also given food and water, something he missed for possibly two days. Meanwhile, Luttrell’s host sent a handwritten note from Luttrell to the nearest U.S. military base through a messenger.

Why are you doing this to me?
Why are you doing this to me?

Not long after that, the suspicious Talibans checked the houses of the villagers, finding Luttrell at last. They were about to execute him when the man who rescued Luttrell took an AK-47, muttered some words at the Taliban, and cocked the gun in front of their face as he aimed it towards them. The other villagers did the same.

Luttrell, for the second time, had his sorry ass saved by the locals.

The Talibans swore revenge against the villagers while reluctantly leaving, putting on some frowns on the villagers’ faces. They are now officially in war with that particular brutal Taliban gang.

Meanwhile Lutrell has not fully recovered. He can’t do anything but rest and moan. Poor guy.

The next day the Talis (call-name for Talibans) came as promised, bringing full armaments with them; RPGs, LMGs, AK-47s, grenades, you name it. The villagers valiantly stood up with only several looted AK-47s.

When it seemed like the village is going to be destroyed utterly by the Talis, U.S. Black Hawks comes out of nowhere, practically annihilating the Talis deservedly. The gunship you get to control at Modern Warfare also put on quite a show with that sort of heavy bombardment, scattering the Talis with no sweat.

In a dramatic end, the military doctors brought back Luttrell from his certain death. Happy ending sometimes felt good, and this movie showed that.

Main Characters and Their Stories

Marcus Lutrell
If I don't go home, you don't go home.
If I don’t go home, you don’t go home.

Marcus Luttrell is a former U.S. Navy Seal and also the only survivor of Operation Red Wings. He was born in Houston, Texas, in November 7 1975. After being sent back home, Luttrell founded the Lone Survivor foundation that helped soldiers like him to get back on their feet and continue living their life by moving on.

Truthfully I can’t say if Wahlberg’s involvement in being Luttrell is exceptional or super-awesome or anything. If I’m to judge his act in this movie fairly, well, he’s just a bit more than what I call the ‘standard professional acting’. Nothing much, actually.

The real-life Marcus Luttrell had a son named after his last-second teammate, Axe. He now lives in Texas, possibly his hometown.

Matt ‘Axe’ Axelson

[while sighting in a Taliban fighter] You can die for your country, I'm gonna live for mine.
[while sighting in a Taliban fighter] You can die for your country, I’m gonna live for mine.
Matt ‘Axe’ Axelson died fighting in Operation Red Wings after having his head shot. Well, not right away, but I assume he died of blood loss before he got shot at the head by the Talibans. Axe was born on June 25 1976 in Cupertino, California. He was married to a girl named Cindy in December 2003, and thus one of his last words are:

Axe: If I die I need you to make sure that Cindy knows how much I love her.
Luttrell: She knows.
Axe: And that I died with my brothers – with a full fucking heart.

For his gallant service in the operation, Axe was awarded Navy Cross, Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy Good Conduct Medal.

Lt. Michael Murphy

(Talking to Luttrell) Marcus. Never out of the fight.
Marcus Luttrell: [after finding his lost gun in the middle of the fight] See? God’s looking out for us. Michael Murphy: If this is what happens when God is looking out for us, I’d hate to see Him pissed.
For his remarkably great reputation, somebody actually made a movie about him. It’s called Murphy. Go on, check it out.

Michael Murphy had a great neighborhood reputation, earning the title ‘The Protector’. According to several sources, Murph (his nickname) saved a homeless man from being bullied, saved a disabled girl in his school from being bullied, and also had experience at being a pool lifeguard in summers. Murph was apparently a pretty smart dude too before he got involved in military. He graduated from Penn State university with honors and dual degrees in both political science and psychology. Talk about a perfect guy. Oh right, I forgot to tell you his birthplace and stuff. He was a native New Yorker, born May 7, 1976.

For his outstanding service this dauntless Lieutenant received lots of military awards, such as the Medal of Honor (not the game), Silver Star, Purple Heart, Commendation Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon. It was also necessary to mention that a park, a destroyer, and a missile are named after him (USS Michael Murphy, ha ha ha).

Danny Dietz
Fuckin' look at them, man. They fuckin' hate us.
Fuckin’ look at them, man. They fuckin’ hate us.

Oh, we don’t get to talk about him much now do we? In fact I think I haven’t mentioned him before this. Some of the most ‘exciting’ and good scenes were made of him, technically. Dietz was married to Maria Dietz, which was shown communicating with Dietz through an email (spoiler: asking for an Arabian Horse for her wedding present). Dietz was also seen dying grasping to a paint brochure in which he was in the process of deciding his house’s wall paint color. He loves drawing, which made him really upset when one of the Talibans shot his drawing hand, and…hmm…oh yeah, he was born on January 26, 1980 in Aurora, Colorado.

This particular war martyr earned a black belt in Taekwondo from the Korean Academy of Taekwondo (wonder why he doesn’t whup some Taliban ass with the Karate Kid kick, you know, the one with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, anyway,) so don’t mess around.

Receiving no less military rewards than his teammates, Dietz also get to be remembered through a larger-than-life bronze statue erected at his hometown.

Highlight

So I’m gonna keep this one short.

Again and again I must say, war brings nothing but death. Sure, the winning side might get spoils of war and stuff, but that was nothing compared to the value of a life.

Besides that, I must say the sound effect on the scene where the four brave men jumped off a cliff is just cracking! I can’t imagine what will the movie be like without them. It was wicked. You know what? You must feel that one yourself. The video-shoot was also inch-perfect on every angle. The director must’ve been a crazy genius, you see, combining such close shooting angle and that awesome, awesome sound effect.

Overall? 4.5/5. Extra half for the appreciation of the gallant efforts of the team. Superb show!

THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN (ENEMIES UNITE TRAILER)

The-Amazing-Spider-Man-2-Super-Bowl

Before we talk about this trailer (well, actually I am) in detail, go watch the friggin’ trailer. What are you waiting for? I’m gonna spoil all the fun if you keep reading.

Okay now if you’re reading this part either you have watched the trailer or you are just one of those people who likes to ruin parties.

Come on man, just stop reading if you haven’t watch the trailer please it’s for your own good.

Fine, your regrets.

First of all, I really don’t know why the trailer is called enemies unite, or why not they just call it the 4th trailer or something, I really don’t. But heck anyways it doesn’t really matter. This is really exciting.

Some people call this the extended Superbowl trailer which I don’t think it is, because it has something (which I will talk about) that makes this different than the other Amazing Spiderman trailer.

Let’s talk about it from the exact beginning of this trailer.

We start off with Peter Parker’s house with Aunt May blocking Peter from cleaning the laundry because the last time he did it, he made everything blue and red (obvious nod to the original Spiderman 2 here).

Well, I guess it’s pretty funny, but not that original. Plus, it’s another nod about how patriotic Spiderman is because of the red, blue, and white. Well it’s not as obvious as how each ending of the original Spiderman trilogy has Spidey on an American flag pole.

“All right, laundry sheriff.”

Then we got something about, “you know what is it I love about being Spiderman? Everything.” *Lol* it’s a counteract on the original trilogy, where he hates being Spiderman in Spiderman 2. And there is Peter Parker there sitting on top of a building (which, by the way, is real. Andrew Garfield is sitting on top there, no CGI blue screen or anything,  the brit’s got balls)

And then here on out, the small bit of Electro’s origins starts. Max Dillon is a nobody,  and he almost got hit by a flying taxi and saved by Spidey. Spiderman motivates him by saying,

“You’re my eyes and ears out here.”

This is the part where Electr… uh, I mean, Max Dillon overthinks about Spiderman, and how jealous he is because everybody likes Spiderman whereas he has a sad life. In this part, he was talking to Gwen Stacy on an elevator (which I’m guessing is in Oscorp) while watching him in an elevator TV.

Parker then states about how he likes to think that Spiderman gives people hope.

Well, nobody cares about what you LIKE to think, dipshit.

Onto Max posting some news paper posters on his room. Isn’t that familiar? Yes? Ironman 2? Electricity whiplashing guy?

Then when Max was trying to fix a broken cable, he fell off and went into this friggin’ pit of eels, I know right, what the hell. A PIT OF EELS. What kind of corporation needs  A PIT OF EELS for electricity, geez.

Well that was cheesy, but I guess that’s what they’re going for.

Part of the city shuts down (or that’s how the trailer put it together to look like), and Max uses a hoodie to cover himself, and he went to the Time Square to absorb some electricity, I guess. Really weird music here, by the way, but I like it.

“YO SPARKLES.”

Parker puts on the Spidey costume and confronts this guy, and this is the part which I was talking about which makes this different than the other trailers.

Parker forgot his name, but remembers how he is ‘his eyes and ears’.

Max got pissed about how Spidey forgot his name, and became a murderous psychopath.

Then Max shoots some electric bolts to Spidey.

Suddenly it cuts to Parker meeting Harry Osborne played by Dane Dehaan. Some sinister six nods here and there but we’ve seen that before from the previous trailers.

Well, the rest of the trailer is just some dubstep with trailer montage.

Also there is this part where Parker is crying with the Spidey outfit, maybe Gwen is, umm…

You know, umm…

D… de…

Devastated because of her dad’s death, or something.

Well, it was a fun trailer for me. Too much shown by the way.

Soekarno: The Dilemma of ‘The Greater Good’

Another self-explanatory movie poster
Another self-explanatory movie poster

I was actually planning to release this review last week, but instead I took a break for an angpao-collecting spree. You can say it went perfectly well. Yes…

Anyway, I put a lot of hope on this review because I’m not fooling around when it comes to talk about my country. So I was expecting you guys to correct me.

Synopsis

As a young man, Soekarno was studied and well associated with both his native homeland (Java and the culture and his fellow Javanese) and the occupying Dutch government (Soekarno can speak fluent Dutch and was well aware of their ‘classy’ traditions). Other than that, in his young age Soekarno lived in a time when Indonesian political figures started to rise; and Soekarno was very lucky to have one of them as his mentor: H.O.S. Cokroaminoto. Inspired by his mentor, Soekarno decided to learn public oratory. Years later, Soekarno became a local political figure and hero towards the people of Indonesia (still in Dutch government occupation), as he is a person with a high skill of public oratory and therefore was capable of igniting the public will of gaining Indonesian independence. The Dutch officials was well aware of that, and in the Dutch occupation period he was put into exile or jails for countless times. But he did not give up. He wrote speeches and letters secretly from his exile or jail in order to get the public’s sympathy. Soekarno, in a nutshell, has an ultimate weapon that the Dutch occupants di not have at that place and time: he had the people. He captured the hearts of the people in a mesmerizing way that the local people, once fearing the Dutch from head to toe, began to doubt their power. The Dutch government was well aware of this, and they hopelessly fight through media propaganda and exiles.

The people's man.
The people’s man.

But the Dutch did not see the Japanese force coming in. The Dutch were not taking the Japanese force very seriously (in my opinion) until it’s too late. The Japanese came, overthrew the Dutch government and military force, and became the new occupant in the Nusantara (Indonesia’s former name before her independence). The Dutch, now aware of what they’re dealing with, tried to smuggle Soekarno and his family out; because they realized what a great asset is Soekarno towards the Japanese, and they feared what was to become if Soekarno joined the Japanese. You just think about it: Soekarno is indirectly the ruler of the Indonesians. He is able to raise up their spirits in a, well, spirited way, and he can frankly make them do anything he wanted them to do. He is the people’s man. He is Soekarno (Bam Bam BAAAAMMMM). Back to the smuggling part (ehm, sorry, got carried away). Soekarno did not want to leave, even though he knows he’s dealing with a force that is totally different than the Dutch government. During Dutch occupation, Soekarno is still partially untouchable due to the existing Dutch law. It was a shield to him to freely express his opinions, as the Dutch were more to democracy rather than fascism or communism (monarchy, actually, but still, the queen of Netherlands must not act so rashly towards Soekarno, because her people may disagree); and Soekarno, as you know, was a truly exceptional public orator. Soekarno is capable of capturing several Dutch’s heart in the Dutch mainland.  The best part is: however mad is the local Dutch government towards Soekarno in Indonesia, they still have to follow orders from the Netherlands capital, Den Haag. In short, the Dutch occupants cannot treat Soekarno anyhow as they want. They have to comply with rules. On the other hand, Japanese were far more brutal. As Soekarno said, the Japanese force will not hesitate in ending a man’s life, not like the Dutch, where the man would be probably judged in a court first. Since in that time Japan was an empire with some sort of a caste, ordinary people have no power at all. Of course, they have rules and laws, but to the Japanese they can do anything they want in an occupied country as long as their superior officers allowed them (maybe like the Generals, Captains, etc.)They are also known for their brutality in dominating another country (like the infamous war event Nanjing Massacre). In short, Soekarno had just lost his best pal the law. Say goodbye to the age of laws, make way for a new era of brutal occupation. Just when the dream for national independence seemed to fade away with the absence of ‘fair’ laws, the Japanese called their trump card: an irresistable devil’s deal with Soekarno and company (Moh. Hatta, the future first vice president of Indonesia, and Sutan Sjahrir, an independence collaborator, too): the Japanese offered independence in exchange for helping them in the ongoing Pacific War. Many Indonesians always thought that our independence was gained through blood and glory; through death of heroes, and through heroic struggles. So this scene delivered one hell of a blow towards the pride of the nation, as you might say. Up to this point, there were two important figures that we must remember: Soekarno and Sutan Sjahrir, because both of them are like magnetic poles. Soekarno believed that by cooperating with the Japanese, there will be less casualties; while on the contrary, Sjahrir was disgusted by the idea of cooperating with their occupants. They are the two extremes, yet with the same core belief: that Indonesia will be independent sooner or later. Later on, Soekarno must also face a personal conflict. His love towards other woman made him left his second wife, Inggit, for Fatmawati.

Inggit, Soekarno's second wife (out of seven, if you're curious).
Inggit, Soekarno’s second wife (out of seven, if you’re curious).
Fatmawati, the weaver of the first indonesian national flag (and Soekarno's third wife).
Fatmawati, the weaver of the first Indonesian national flag (and Soekarno’s third wife).

After several household fights, Inggit decided to leave Soekarno. Sad to say (I am an Indonesian, and I’m a bit embarrased to say that my national hero is also a women chaser), Soekarno married Fatmawati as his third wife. But his problems did not end there. The Japanese asked for preposterous requests such as women (that scene is truly heart-breaking), resources, and Soekarno’s help on their propaganda. Ario Bayu as Soekarno played his role very well to depict Soekarno on those scene, that actually Soekarno did not want those to happen; but for the sake of independence, he did those (half-heartedly). On the other side, Sjahrir continued his undercover independence effort on gathering the nationalist youths to prepare them for their independence. Other than that, Sjahrir also continued his illegal activity of listening to the international radio to check on how the Japanese were doing. To his joy, the Japanese were losing. At the same time, the Japanese force fulfilled their promise towards Soekarno and gave him Indonesia’s independence at Vietnam. But just when Soekarno was about to celebrate this hard-earned achievement when he was kidnapped not long after he got back to Indonesia again. The kidnappers were the ambitious nationalist youths that forced Soekarno and Hatta to proclaim Indonesia’s independence immidiately because Japan had lost the war and therefore Indonesia is without any occupants, for the first time in three centuries. The youths saw this as a golden chance to proclaim Indonesia’s independence. Soekarno and Hatta were not amused being tricked by the Japanese. You see, if Soekarno saw this coming, the downfall of the Japanese force, then Soekarno wouldn’t have to cooperate with the Japanese; letting his people suffer at the hands of them, or worse, killed. The Japanese, true to their words, offered help in the process of proclaiming Indonesia’s independence. Finally, Indonesia was free and independent on the historical 17th of August, 1945.

The original Soekarno reading the proclamation text.
The original Soekarno reading the proclamation text.

Main Characters and Their Stories

Soekarno
Soekarno.
Soekarno.

His original name was actually Kusno, but the name was changed by his father because he was frequently sick (some native Indonesian still believed in the mystic tradition). Soekarno can speak Dutch, Japanese, Javanese, English, and Bahasa Indonesia (as far as I know), so he is a learned man. In the early scenes, Soekarno was seen flirting with a Dutch girl (when he was young). We can conclude that Soekarno was well associated with several upper-class Dutch in his life. Other than that, he is also well-associated with middle-lower class of the local people. So we know that Soekarno is well-associated with two different worlds; the upper and the lower, the occupant and the occupied. It was thanks to his inspiring mentor H.O.S. Cokroaminoto that he became an excellent public orator. Many said his mastery at public oratory in Indonesia is second to none.

Soekarno had many wives. Well, not all at once, but still it’s a bit shocking isn’t it? So don’t be surprised when you meet one of Soekarno’s son or daughter. Perfectly normal.

What else to say about him? Many, actually; but my mind just can’t stop reeling too fast at this point, thus leaving me speechless. But if it helps, I wanted to say that he is no doubt a huge contributor to Indonesia’s independence, and against all other opinion I wanted to say that the image of him valuing lives above everything else is something I truly uphold.

As Terry Pratchett (is his name spelled right? I guess) said it in a fine way (in his book ‘Nation’), “When much is taken, something is returned”. Soekarno had just the faith  to get through all of his people’s suffering to watch the glorious moment of his country’s independence.

Fatmawati
Fatmawati, Soekarno's third wife.
Fatmawati, Soekarno’s third wife.

Sorry to say, my first opinion on this photo was, “yeuch”, and most probably you’re in the same boat as I am. Anyway, onwards to Fatmawati.

The famous wife was played by Tika Bravani, a talented young actress from Indonesia. Historically, Fatmawati is widely-known as the woman who sewed the first Indonesian national flag. Dramatic.

Soekarno married Fatmawati when she was 15 (sounds like Hugh Hefner all over again). Fatma (her shortname) was Soekarno’s student at a school in Bengkulu, taught by Soekarno during his exile. It was her which made Inggit (Soekarno’s second wife) and Soekarno divorce, which gave me a thought about Bob Marley. No woman no cry, right?

Fatma gave birth to to three daughters and two sons; grand total of five, in which four of them, Megawati Soekarnoputri , Sukmawati Soekarnoputri , Rachmawati Soekarnoputri and Guruh Soekarnoputra, is still politically active. Beat that.

Mohammad Hatta
Central figure, up top.
Central figure, up top.

A gorgeous acting was delivered by Lukman Sardi as Mohammad Hatta. I just felt it, you know, the classic hunches you usually get? The actor and the supposed character blended in better than Coffee Beans’ Original Ice Blended, which is saying something (sometimes I prefer Coffee Beans rather than Starbucks).

The calm upbringing he frequently put on is the highlight, because I always thought Mohammad Hatta as the backstage guy, never a spotlight guy. He is a key figure to me because I think he is the middle point between Soekarno and Sjahrir, in which Soekarno prefered submitting to their occupants as a step towards their independence and Sjahrir (a hot-tempered little guy) wanted a rebellion. So yeah, you can say his existence at that situation a ‘divine intervention’.

He is well-known as the first Vice-President of Indonesia and also a friend to Soekarno. There’s probably still much about him but I guess the essence of it is that as the second wheel, you will play a role no less crucial than the big boss. That’s what happened to Hatta anyway; and Nehru, and probably you.

Highlight

At last, highlights. Word count: 1772 (personal record).

I’d like to start with my personal favorite, the one I’ve mentioned in the Letters to Iwo Jima review. It’s about lives, human lives.

Many people were disappointed after watching this movie, (mostly Indonesians) and they have the right to. Who on this particular planet laughed at his/her country’s humiliation? Probably separatists, but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about us (unless you’re a separatist). Us, as in, people that are proud of their motherland. But after several scenes of Soekarno letting his people suffer at the hands of their occupants, personally the bastards that produced this movie took down several notches on my nationalistic spirit.

Not fun. At all. I am totally not amused.

But after several days, I realized that Soekarno did it out of a belief that he had, and I think that is truly remarkable. To let people harshly treat us in order to give a chance to live for the others is quite a gem.

In my eyes, Soekarno let his people suffer for the greater good. He let them suffer rather than to die in a useless open rebellion (useless, because the Japanese’s military force is superior in almost every aspects) to let them have a taste of independence. Of course you can die when you suffer, but that’s a risk Soekarno is willing to take for the greater good of Indonesia.

See it like this: your parents pushed you to study hard so you can get a good score. Your parents know you might be very unhappy towards them and treat them harshly, but for their son (or daughter, I’m not being sexist), they are willing to take a blow.

Soekarno is, in my eyes, a national ‘father’.

Thank you for reading this. I’m looking forward for comments and corrections. Sampai nanti! (Until then!)

Rest in Peace, Philip Seymour Hoffman

The world has lost another amazing actor. Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment. Police reports said he apparently died of a drug overdose. He was 46.

Hoffman was known from his movie Capote, in which he acted as Truman Capote, an American author. He won an Oscar for his magnificent portrayal in the movie, and was nominated for 4 others. He was also known for his works with director Paul Thomas Anderson, one of the most respected directors of modern cinema. Through movies such as Boogie Nights, Magnolia (one of my top favorite movies), Punch Drunk Love, and The Master, he conveyed a masterful grasp of the knowledge of acting and roleplaying. And probably, he was most known by the new generation as Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

As Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
As Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

This is a tragic and a sudden death, that will leave us mourning. Hoffman is a truly amazing actor who has made a mark in the world of cinema. Also, a great, wonderful, and awesome man. Farewell, good sir, the world will always remember you.