Photo courtesy of VIFF
DIR: Yosep Anggi Noen | Dragons and Tigers | Indonesia | 2012 | 85 mins | Indonesian
Monday, October 1 9:15pm | Pacific Cinematheque
Tuesday October 2 4:00pm | Pacific Cinematheque
When Ning (Christy Mahanani) tells her husband Jarot (Joned Suryatmoko) she is going to start working at a furniture store, he doesn't respond. He just gets up from the table to watch his favourite dating show.
Ning and Jarot's relationship is tearing apart and they barely even speak to each other. He mostly stays at home watching TV and makes a little money re-selling gasoline at the side of the road. She, on the other hand, has recently changed jobs to get more money as her husband doesn't seem to care much about providing for the house; he spends what he makes on cheap prostitutes.
Yosep Anggi Noen explores, in his first feature film, the growing sexual tensions between Ning and her new colleague, Mur (Muhamma Abe Baasyin), as they go on a trip to the mountains to make deliveries. This slow-paced drama allows the viewers to be the third passenger of the delivery truck and to pick up random Ning memories regarding her husband and her relationship with him.
Sexual tension is the true protagonist of the film. Viewers will be able to feel it from even before the start of their journey, when Mur teaches Ning the speech she has to give potential customers in order to convince them to buy a couch. It is also present when they are in the truck and Mur tries to engage in conversation with the often distant woman, and mostly in every flashback of Jarot and Ning's interactions back home.
Desire vs. correctness is Mur's struggle as he finds out that Ning is not just married but also a Christian - himself being a Muslim.
Technical issues like an often shaky camera and problems with sound somehow help to give realism to this drama and actually help viewers feel like they are accompanying the protagonists in their delivery trip, but still remains distracting.
Viewers looking for an exercise about sexual desire, remorse and deteriorating relationships will definitely don't want to miss this Noen movie.
Carlos Tello is a journalism student at UBC. You can find him on Twitter @segundoviaje.