On an Indonesian island at Sumba, young widow Marlina lives alone. One day, a gang appears and attacks her, rapes her and steals her cattle. To defend herself, Marlina kills some of the men, including the gang leader. Determined to seek justice, she then goes off on a journey towards emancipation.
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Marlina the Murderer in Four ActsDirected byMouly Surya
from the oppressive opening scene to the layered depth of the closing scene, this film gallops with a definite purpose: defy the idea of patriarchy with a machete in hand and dialogues/gestures that are natural but mischievous (in the best way possible).
Who am I to begrudge any national cinema its pulp fiction? And it would be impossible to discount MARLINA entirely as pop culture pap based simply on its commanding use of the wide frame. This is a film of arresting visual acuity. This is certainly the first (and probably last) time I have ever encouraged prospective viewers to imagine a combination of Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Robert Rodriguez. Feels vaguely folkloric.
Best scene: 1. Marsha Timothy taking a bath complete with sunset in the background; 2. Marlina and her friend talking to each other about pregnancy while peeing; 3. Every single scenes in this movie is very "screenshot-able" and it will be cool if use it as a wallpaper on your computer (desktop). MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS is a groundbreaking in Indonesian cinema. A compliment to Mouly Surya and her crew...
This is a very good film with interesting characters, superb cinematography, and an excellent Morricone-inspired score. However, what I like most about it is how it plays with narrative expectations. Each act has its own distinct tone, running the range from thriller to dark comedy to social drama. While Acts 3 and 4 get a little slow and sloppy, I stayed very enthralled, wondering where the story would go next.
I always thought that giving applause after the film ends is somewhat a useless act since there's no one that participates in the making of the film is present at the cinema, but when the audience applauded at the end of this film, i feel like I want to join in
There are always films that come out of lands around the world that feel totally cooked for the American palate, this is one of those films. It has some great merits, frankly its everything they did that went left of what we would expect from this post Tarantino liberation revenge film, but often it obeys those cliches and its weighs it down. But it has great compositions throughout. Shaky effort IMO.