Mastering the Subtle Art of the Film Remake
With the critical praise new Indonesian film “Catatan Harian Si Boy” (“Boy’s Diary”) has been receiving, it is clear that sometimes a remake or reboot can actually transcend the original — or at least manage to not completely bomb.
The renamed remake of “Catatan Si Boy,” a New Order-era classic, has kept everything that people loved about the original — such as the coolness of the characters — while filtering out its more cringe-worthy components — like the sexist jokes and the 1980s aesthetic.
The film is not exactly the revolutionary cinematic experience some claim it to be, but in the context of the insipid films being pumped out alongside it in Indonesia, it could well mark the beginning of a resurgence.
The remake works well because it pays homage to its roots, but is not half-hearted about modernizing its outdated elements. This is the delicate challenge at which some remakes have succeeded and others have failed.