22 Mar

(For the purpose of any non-Indonesian speakers out there, the title can be loosely translated as a singleton, and the word applies to both sexes, although the film largely focuses on the single guys.)

Ooppss! Have I said too much above?

I can’t help it, as much as I can’t help laughing, smiling, smirking, thinking, wondering, and other activities done by a film audience who is fully amused with a film that, despite some bumpy rides towards the end, is consistently entertaining.

Jomblo, with a line-up of four straight single guys desperately wanting to get girlfriends by their sides, may tempt a comparison being a male version of Sex and the City, and make the setting changed from Manhattan to some fictional universities in Bandung instead. No famous clothing line flashing on the screen, but we settle for a staple of T-shirt and jeans, emphasizing the look of regular college guys who less bother about their looks.

That’s why, the move of Hanung Bramantyo, the director, to cast the lead in relatively unknown newcomer, Ringgo Agus Rahman, is something worth a praise on its own, as Ringgo carries his role as Agus, the guy who walks away with his wrongdoings, in a relaxed manner, unpretentious that we enjoy his quirky acts without having to laugh at him. Instead, we laugh with him when he appears in his chicken costume, or when he reaches his peak of desperation to get a strap of condoms.

Such a joke which often being banally used in many slapstick comedies of Warkop DKI in late 1980s works pleasantly well under a script which seems to be carefully written by the director himself, along with Adhitya Mulya who also pens Jomblo, the novel, in which the film is based from.

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If anything bugs me most, is none other than the stoic presence of Rizky Hanggono, somewhat often stumbling down amidst his fellow members of this ensemble cast that comprises of Ringgo, Dennis Adhiswara who shamelessly goes to extra length in making a fun of himself, and Christian Sugiono. The latter himself is suspiciously cast to the credit of his good look, but even so, the quality fits his role as a playboy nicely, thus his presence is a far cry from being an annoyance likely found in many other flicks.

With clean slate of humor, often teasing with sex subject without being gross, and the characters Indonesians could easily relate to, it is hardly any doubt that the film is as a complete as what a good, entertaining Indonesian teen-flick should look like.

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Posted by on 03/22/2006 in English, Film


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