11 January 2002 | kewlcity
good film depicting the negative aspect of modernity while being a trifle too absurd
The film weaves around four stories all happening in metropolitan, dehumanizing Jakarta. In fact that is what it is about, the quality of meaninglessness of living in a place that turns people into zombies.
In a place where meaning must be invented, these kids turn into the only place, the only culture they see worth tuning into: television and movies. Thus they slowly degenerate into the abysmal reinterpretation in a sort of sickening anti-hero, anti-social statements that goes absurdly a wrong turn.
Plot may not be all important for a film that tries to depict a social reality. I like many films that are lacking in plots, 'stealing beauty' comes to mind. Yet the only drawback would be in the absurdity of the actions taken by these kids and grown up. The director goes into a surreal world where the actors imitate movies and pop-culture in their pathetic effort at coming into meaning and leaving the desolate loneliness that comes out of meaninglessness.
I have to criticize that the absurdity was too pervasive and mocks the beauty that the director might have achieved in making less a better thing at their exaggerated symbolic impositions. They could have made better symbolic gestures than the laughable depictions seen here.
All in all, a pretty good flic at social criticism on the dehumanizing aspect of metropolitan living and the rootlessness of the newer generation that desperately need meaning and relation in a bewildering world where they can't seem to put two and two together.