Tag Archives: Rating: 3.5

A Season with: Dear White People (2017) – Season 1

Review: Taking full resilient force from Justin Simien’s 2014 indie-hit, Dear White People, Netflix’s Dear White People reuses the same force to launch this 10-episode of witty comedy into this year’s most thought-provoking spectacle. This works as an extension of the infamous black-themed white-people party in the feature film, although it starts off with effective reimagining of it; but, it transcends mostly as the aftermath with counter-racism and cross-cultural conversation at its heart.

Set in a fictional Ivy League university, Winchester College, Dear White People follows a tribe of black students living in all-black dorm named Armstrong-Parker house. If the film version combines multiple characters’ arcs in a full-frontal riot, the series presents the story differently. Each pivotal character gets a full 30-minute episode arc in exercising the doomed party’s aftermath. Continue reading A Season with: Dear White People (2017) – Season 1

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A Season with: Legion (2017) – Season 1

Review: In a world where superhero TV series comes in either one of these three styles: Netflix-Marvel street-vigilante style, Marvel movie tie-in style, or DC’s over-the-top Arrowverse style, FX’s Legion is an oddball. It doesn’t follow those patterns of style; even, it feels like a non-superhero superhero story. Sure thing is, the whole first season of Legion is a kind of thing you’ve never seen before in television (or even cinemas).

Do yourself a little favor by googling about Legion’s origin and you’ll understand why Fargo series’ creator, Noah Hawley is eager to adopt this X-Men bravura under his wings. First introduced in New Mutants comic book, Legion a.k.a. David Haller (portrayed by Dan Stevens) immediately cements his position as one of the most interesting mutant – not only because his connection to someone important in X-Men ranks, but also because his ability which makes him dubbed as ‘the strongest mutant alive.’ With such a fascinating biography, this psycho-frenzy mutant definitely needs a proper introduction; yet, that is the least you can expect from a superhero’s origin story. Continue reading A Season with: Legion (2017) – Season 1

Lion (2016) – Review

Review: Inarguably, the true event that inspires Garth Davis’ Lion is a blessing-in-disguise story. A five-year old Indian boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets lost while going away from home with his older brother. He’s stranded in Calcutta – 1,600KM away from home; survived hardships in street life, before being adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), who lives in Tasmania.

Separated from his birth family and his compassionate brother, Saroo, now a Brierley (portrayed by Dev Patel), grows into a full-fledged Australian – who even forgets to speak Hindi. When hearing about Google Earth, Saroo becomes obsessed with it to trace down his memory lane in attempt to locate his home in India. Will he find his birth house after all? At this point, knowing how this story ends is moderately forgiven, because Lion isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Continue reading Lion (2016) – Review

Hidden Figures (2017) – Review

Review: There were three African-American women working at NASA in circa 1960s and helping the institution sending man into space, winning the space competitions against the Soviets. Not everyone knows about that fact (me neither, in fact), until Hidden Figures comes and opens people’s eyes in the era where this substantial revelation is relevant. However, it’s never been a preachy, egghead’s story; instead, Theodore Melfi’s adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction is a high-energized feel-good film about equality and empowerment.

Those three titular figures are Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Those women are all brilliant in their own field even beyond; but their only problem is more complex than their minds; because they are women and people of colors. Continue reading Hidden Figures (2017) – Review

Fences (2016) – Review

Review: Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) walks home from work with his comrade, Bono (Stephen Henderson), talking about work and life as black men in the 1950s’ Pittsburgh, before reaching Troy’s home, in which Rose (Viola Davis), Troy’s wife, has waited. From the blocking, the set arrangement, and the characters’ gesture, we already know that Fences is adapted from a play; it is staged like a play, but it ventures further into masterclass, cinematic performance.

Troy, a hardened man, was once a talented baseball player, who never made to professional careers due to an issue which he addressed as racial segregation. He’s got into an unfortunate event when he’s young, but he’s overcome it. Since then, Troy becomes bitter and skeptical; he’s been building fences—literally and figuratively. Continue reading Fences (2016) – Review

Salawaku (2017) – Review: A journey to the East

This review is based on the version released in Jogja-Netpac Asian Film Festival 2016 last December.

Review: Salawaku, a traditional wooden shield from Moluccas, Indonesia, is a small armament. Despite the size, it’s an effective companion to the swiftness of traditional machete for its rigid and stiff apparatus is highly protective.

In Pritagita Arianegara’s directorial debut, Salawaku (newcomer, Elko Kastanya) is only an ordinary child living an extraordinary life. His parents have long passed away, leaving him and his older sister Binaiya (Raihaanun) as orphans. Life has unfairly forced him to be a hard, rigid figure during his childhood – making his character juxtaposed perfectly with the shield.

When Binaiya flees from the island, sails the quiet sea alone to the exile for a reason we have yet to know; Salawaku, as protective as he’s ever been, determines to go after his sister by himself, dividing the wilderness of Ceram Island, Moluccas. Amidst the quest, the boy encounters a Jakarta-based escapee, Saras (Karina Salim), stranded on a remote island alone after a wasted night. Continue reading Salawaku (2017) – Review: A journey to the East