Click on the images to read more about it.
This is my first time reviewing a movie that can fits to two events at the same time. Indonesia Banget is my monthly post which I shared every 17 of the month. It is a monthly post where I shared about Indonesia. You can read more about it in my first Indonesia Banget Post. Why I think The Raid suits this monthly post? Simply because it is one awesome Indonesian movie and it shows how great Indonesian Martial Art (Pencak Silat) is.
World Cinema Series is an event hosted by Caroline @ Beauty Is a Sleeping Cat. The event is very simple, to watch movies across the world…and I think it won’t be fair if Indonesian Movie is not included in it. Unlike my other review for WCS, I do not include the map (like this) for this one because pointing an arrow from Indonesia to Indonesia is really pointless
Enough with the introduction…let’s move on to the movie
I share the trailer in the beginning because there are other interesting videos afterward
I have heard so much praises on this movie by both Indonesians and foreigners. I wanted to see it since the first time I saw the trailer on TV because I have been longing for good action movie from my own country. Indonesia often produced silly horror movie ( such as Jenglot), comedy and drama. I like comedy but I rather wait it to be played on TV while the silly horror is a definite pass and so does the drama…I never find the joy of watching romance drama. When The Raid showed up, I was so busy and couldn’t find time. My friend urged me to see it through her own review in Bahasa. Finally managed to see it yesterday
Just as I expected, the story is not special but it isn’t boring either…I mean what else can you expect from a movie about policemen raiding a crook’s lair.
Somewhere in Jakarta (don’t ask me where because I have never seen the building), a rundown apartment building had turned into the place where murderers and criminals stayed together. The building was owned by Tama Riyandi (Ray Sahetapi), a criminal who had his way of buying the police.
One day, early in the morning a group of police elite led by Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim) under the order of Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) ambushed the apartment building. At first everything went smoothly, they entered the building unnoticed but a single escape made the whole building woke up in alert. Tama realized that there was uninvited guest in his building. He told all the tenants to get rid the guest in anyway they like and they will be rewarded afterward. And so the battle between the elite police and the criminals began…it was a war in small scale.
In short, we can summarize the story like that, I don’t want to go to detail because it will reveal too much out of a simple story…I will just let you see the story by yourself. It is more interesting to talk about everything else beside the story.
Iko Uwais as Rama
Apart from those characters and actors I have mentioned above, the key characters were actually Rama played by the silat expert Iko Uwais and Mad Dog who was also played by a silat expert Yayan Ruhian.
Silat? You probably never heard of the word, right? Well, Silat which we often called as Pencak Silat is Indonesian Martial Art (just like Kung Fu belongs to China). Here is a quote from wikipedia:
Pencak silat was chosen in 1948 as a unifying term for the Indonesian fighting styles. It was a compound of the two most commonly used words for martial arts in Indonesia. Pencak was the term used in central and east Java, while silat was used in Sumatra. In modern usage, pencak and silat are seen as being two aspects of the same practice. Pencak is the performance aspects of the martial art, while silat is the essence of the fighting and self-defense. It is often said by practitioners that there can be no silat without pencak, on the other hand pencak without silat skills is purposeless.
Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog
In The Raid you will see both gun fight and bare hand fight but gun fight is soooo not as interesting as bare hand fight. It was such a breathtaking moment when Rama tried to defeat all the small time crooks by using a knife in one hand and police baton in the other hand. His move was so precise and effective, there was no useless move at that time. My other favorite part is when Mad Dog told Sergeant Jaka that killing him with a gun would be the simplest way but it wasn’t fun, Mad Dog wanted to kill him in a duel…so they fought, it was a fight to the death.
Iko and Yayan are expert in Silat and they are also the fight choreographer in The Raid….and I have to say that all the fights are beautiful to watch, it was like seeing a beautiful deadly dance.
Here is a video of Iko Uwais performing the art of Pencak Silat (Uploaded by Garudangangkang). You can see how fast he moved and how beautiful Silat is. Don’t stop in the middle because he showed you how to use sharp weapon effectively
Let’s move on to the movie atmosphere. Gareth Evans, the director, had done something unusual toward action movie. At some scenes, it gives the chilling feeling as if we were watching a horror movie rather than police ambush kind of movie. The way all the light turned off and the way the criminals showing up have a similar feeling with appearing of a ghost or monster…I love that part so much!! I have never seen such action movie made like that before.
The Raid also has one of the best movie scores I have ever heard (unfortunately if you watch the US version you might not think the same as I am because they change the scoring by using music by Mike Shinoda…I really don’t know why, is Indonesian musician THAT bad so they had to change with their own musician??). Ignoring the US version, I am going to talk about the scoring in the original movie (as first seen at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival) which was composed by Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal and closed by a band from Bandung. The score is PERFECT for each scenes…I can’t stop saying it to my friend how good the score is…I haven’t felt that excited about movie score since 28 Days Later. IT WAS PERFECT, the music really deliver the right feeling or atmosphere of the scenes it tries to connect. I am so proud of the composition and love to hear more from them. I do hope the rest of the world can hear the original not the Shinoda version. The trailer above is using Indonesian score.
After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), critics and audience alike hailed The Raid as one of the best action films in years
I have to agree with that quote…It is indeed one of the best action films in years!
Here is a video taken by my student, well used to be my student, when Iko and Yayan had a talk show in ITB (Bandung Institute of Technology). You can see that they are really fast not just in the movie.
Although a lot of girls like Iko, I do admire his skill but it is Donny Alamsyah who played as Andy, Tama’s right hand, that captured my eyes…he was soooo cool as Andy, the coolest man in the movie. I think I want to see another movie by him
Go and watch The Raid, in cinema or DVD, it worth every minute of your time if you are not afraid with blood
Director : Gareth Evans
Producer : Ario Sagantoro
Writer: Gareth Evans
Starring : Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno, Tegar Setrya, Ray Sahetapy
Music : Fajar Yuskemal and Aria Prayogi
Cinematography : Matt Flannery
Release date(s) : 8 September 2011 (Toronto International Film Festival); 23 March 2012 (Indonesia and United States)
Awards: Audience Award and the Dublin Film Critics Circle Best Film at 2012 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, and Cadillac People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the Toronto International Film Festival
Ps. If you have seen the one with English subtitle, I wonder how they translate the swearing, please let me know
Indonesian love using the word ‘Anjing‘ to swear (including me sometimes) that word means dog in English but I don’t think dog is a swearing word in English. I am soooo curious about that!!