Cut Njak Dien

Being told of the topic this time, one movie popped in to my head just like that. It’s one of my favorite, and definitely one of Indonesian movie’s pride and joy, and though it doesn’t exactly fit in to the gangster genre, I’ve managed to squeezed it out as my movie pick. The most significant thing that cross my mind when I think of gangster movie is the intensity of the bonding between characters in the pursuit of glory or survival that is being fed to the viewer, since the strength of it lies on how the bond holds or crumble through out the game, who to trust, and how to survive within the often deadly relations and problems that surround those characters. What made up my mind when I drop my choice to this movie is the spirit inside it that I feel strongly resemble the gangster ambiance.

This movie that evolve around the character of Cut Nyak Dien, the Indonesian legendary heroine with a background of struggle towards freedom from the foreign colonizer, where she led her people in a win or die trying battle. The crucial purpose being carried by the characters intensified it so powerfully, that I was fixated and couldn’t help of having goosebumps through out the movie. I was so mesmerized on the politic and intrics amongst the characters inside it, how loyalty is expensive, and faith is pricey. There was one classic moment where Cut Nyak Dien found a “rat” (betrayer) inside her people, she holds her anger but not putting any effort to conceal it, more of to stay cold in the head, then she sent him to be “taken care of” in the most unforgettable way. Her charisma and the influence she sent to her people shows how powerful she is and the effect being thrown at the viewer is simply one word, unbelievable.

At the time Cut Nyak Dien was released, Indonesian movie was pumping it’s last oxygen to it’s lungs. And to expect a movie being released that are other than the horror, erotic or historical movies genre, moreover good movies, is just a fool’s dream. I remember watching Cut Nyak Dien, and think, if ever, there’s a gangster movie, it should be filled with characters like these. Where the union is so tight and a secret too big to put at stake, the horror of loosing everything you have, the suspense of choosing the next step that will bring the death or glory to thousands, and of course a leader so breathtakingly divine that you’d put on a pedestal the first time you see it. Even until today, as far as I remember I haven’t watched any movie with the effect as big as that one. Out of 5 decapitated thumbs, I give a perfect five.

Shelomita Savitri

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