Misfires and a ‘Fart’ in Local Holiday Films
With the school holidays in full swing and the usual flood of Hollywood blockbusters out of the picture with the ongoing film tax dispute, locally made movies should be raking in big box office earnings this month.
With an eye to drawing in the holiday crowd, many Indonesian filmmakers have tried to steer away from the usual offerings of half-baked horror, crass jokes and scantily clad females, opting for more family-friendly comedies, heart-warming dramas and sickly sweet romances.
Even this seems to have failed to bring viewers back to the cinemas, though. Local films seem to be performing as poorly as ever at the box office, leaving theaters even emptier than before. What is going wrong? Take a look at these four local releases and see for yourself.
‘Serdadu Kumbang’ (‘The Beetle Soldiers’)
This unoriginal tear-jerker appears to be an attempt to ride on the success of Mira Lesmana’s hugely popular “Laskar Pelangi” (“The Rainbow Troops,” 2008), which was set on the tiny island of Belitung off the east coast of Sumatra. “Serdadu Kumbang” uses a similar premise about the pursuit of childhood dreams amid adversity and transports it to the other end of the archipelago — specifically the island of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara. There we meet Amek (Yudi Miftahudin), a young boy struggling with family problems and falling grades at school.