Review: In Raditya Dika’s Hangout, a mysterious host invites 9 Indonesian foremost celebrities to a lush resort in a remote island for three days with no definite reason. Thinking it is as a secret casting invitation, those 9 brats are coming around.
Among those 9 stars, versatile Indonesian director/poker-faced actor/writer/stand-up comedian/YouTube personality, Raditya Dika lurks around after being financially indebted. Along with Dika, Soleh Solihun, a stand-up comedian turned disastrous reality show presenter, also came while holding grudge to Dika for making him losing a role for box office hit called Korea Forever. Aside from the frenemy, other celebs i.e, veteran Mathias Muchus, flamboyant Surya Saputra, adventurousTiti Kamal, filthy Dinda Kanya Dewi, Gading Marten, YouTube vlogger Bayu Skak and teenage star Prilly Latuconsina, are coming for the invitation.
What started off as a tropical dream and a little inner circle reunion suddenly turns into massacre when body counts start to rise. A mysterious killer is targeting those Indonesian stars, one by one, for a reason nobody bloody knows.
Hangout marks Raditya Dika’s out-of-comfort zone debut in directing a rare experimental film, which nobody would think he would make. Hangout is a thriller wrapped with the campiest Raditya Dika-esque comedy and deadpan absurdity, which might remind us to films like Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. It has the shade of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None at every corner, but it has never been too serious (in being a thriller) as it takes the time to spread the fun moments.
While it’s completely different from Dika’s repertoire, Hangout never loses the well-aimed comedy that Dika writes. However, this time he loves to make fun of Indonesia’s showbiz industry; and Hangout makes fun of everything in it, from popular cult film Ada Apa dengan Cinta? to weird soap opera, Ganteng Ganteng Serigala; from Raditya Dika’s acting to stand-up comedian-turned movie star phenomena; from lo-fi music entertainment show on TV to high-end celebrities’ second or third weddings.
Hangout also loves to hang out with meta-jokes revolve around the fictional non-fictional version of the cast. For instance, Hangout portrays Dinda Kanya Dewi as a super filthy celebrity (similar to Shia LaBeaouf behind the scene of Fury) and Surya Saputra as a quirky, flamboyant chap, whom we never had seen before. It also gives significant amount of focus on Raditya Dika and Soleh Solihun’s feud, which cleverly gives some ride to the plot to progress. Those subplots and ridiculous meta-jokes blending in with the showbiz mockery, not as some witty satires, but merely as jokes which apparently hit (although occasionally miss, as well).
The most surprising part is: Raditya Dika’s adroit in directing the mystery side of Hangout. He knows how to lure audiences into his simultaneous whodunit trap as he plants a Scooby Doo-esque mcguffin and multiple pseudo-red herrings. However, the thriller side of this experiment is bit of a letdown. If he’s into this genre, Dika should learn more on how to create uneasy atmosphere because, in Hangout, he often misses this, creating cringeworthy moments.
In the end, Hangout is a kind of oddball that actually works without being too ridiculous or too thrilling. However, it still results in an absurdly fun experience marking an era in Indonesian showbiz industry.