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Movie: Merantau (2009)
Genre: , ,
Director: Gareth Evans
Date of Release: 05 Nov 2009
Duration: 134
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
Movie review score

About Merantau (2009)

In Minangkabau, West Sumatera, Yuda a skilled practitioner of Silat Harimau is in the final preparations to begin his “Merantau” a century’s old rites-of-passage to be carried out by the community’s young men that will see him leave the comforts of his idyllic farming village and make a name for himself in the bustling city of Jakarta.

The movie plot and story simple in alota ways with subplot about life,parenthood,love and the underworld. I recommend it. So.. a 6.7 out of 10 for me. I especially like the photography. Lots of good acting and directing all around. Every fan of martial arts should see this film. You have to watch the movie by yourself and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Was not even aware of Gareth Evans or iko uwais. Being interested in seeing the beginnings of Evans and Uwais collaboration,I decided to join both of them in their journey through Merantau. Here comes Iko Uwais in his first movie, Merantau. The final action scene is set against red shipping containers. I give Merentau plot 5/10 – while the fighting scenes and especially the new star an 8/10. In other words – a great film for martial arts lovers (introduces a new style of fighting to the International audience which always is a thumbs up), while not so good for those into ‘storylines’ and ‘acting’ etc. And I will try to be fair. For example, Yuda decides to help Astri by pushing off her boss as he abuses her and takes advantage of her weekly salary from work in which would have been disregarded due to the fact she needed any kind of money anyways to support herself and her little brother. I personally enjoyed a handful of these movies, but there was a decisive lack of authentic martial arts gracing the cinema screens. The film did not portray Uwais’s role as a ‘master’ in Silat – it portrayed him as a ‘young’, ‘innocent’ newbie exposed to the dangers outside his village, and because he was lightly skilled in the arts of fighting and defending – he managed to stand up against the villains. It’s hard hitting silat harimau here, which has its distinctive low centre of gravity positioning, sweeping leg motions to unbalance the opposition, and very direct and hard hitting palming aimed squarely at the opponent’s chest to literally knock the wind out of. Merantau is a long-waited fighting film, featuring Indonesian traditional martial art, silat. It irritates me very much that millions of action fans in my home country in the United States have never seen or heard of this movie. The plot: Following is his brother and his late dad’s footsteps,Yuda waves goodbye to his family as he leaves their small village behind,and sets off to a huge city so as to go through a rites of passage called Merantau,which will lead to him coming back to the village as a “man”. Cole Abaius of Film School Rejects calls the film a “Mind-exploding action sequences coupled with genuine emotional impact.” Great start to a new style of martial art movies. Credit to Gareth Evans, the Welsh director. Granted this is no perfect film with a number of continuity errors spotted, the set action pieces were a sight to behold despite some moments being wire-obvious, mixing things up with components other than Silat all the way, with a few which stood out as campy fun. Surely, one step toward a better cinema for Indonesia.. Absolutely bad. At first, looking at the way the managed the poster and all.. – and of course, great actions. So, I give it 8/10 for a martial art film. Since pencak silat choreography I have ever seen is more like a group dance. It’s ESSENTIAL viewing for anyone interested in the genre. I just cannot say enough good things about this movie and I really could not fathom how it could garner a negative review at all. I had first seen him in Mile 22, and when I saw Merantau listed as a new option on Netflix, I tuned in.

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After watching this I became a fan of Gareth n Uwais. It’s hard not to compare the movie with Ong Bak, and Iko Uwais with Tony Jaa. Hearing from a friend about how much they had enjoyed watching Gareth Evans 2011 film The Raid on DVD,I decided to take a look at Evans IMDb page,where I was thrilled to discover,that before directing The Raid,Evans had teamed up with future Raid star Iko Uwais in 2009 to make,what is now called the first ever ” Silat Harimau” (a martial arts style) movie. Reminiscent of early Bruce Lee. There are other places where philosophy and political statements are blatantly obvious, but it really shines between these two warriors on opposite sides of the battlefield. There are plenty of one vs. This movie is so good, make me sit comfortable in theater, even though the theater have many trouble while playing this movie. And of course, we so tired with all ghosts and unclear sex comedy movies. I really think many young people, the ones who have to struggle through this often harsh world and suffer terribly when there is no one to help them, would really sympathize and feel a connection for the story and the main character who looks quite young himself. enjoy the action sequences!! Asian action films during the late 90s and early 00s shifted towards a finesse-driven, pop star dominated trend that left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans. although its directed by Gareth Evans, who actually not Indonesian, but i can say that he can relate to us – Indonesian. Before going on Merantau, they usually prepare themselves with certain skill that would support their survival in the new place. Iko is blessed with great camera presence and natural facial expression. Also I don’t normally watch foreign movies with subtitles because it is always hard to look at the picture while reading dialogue. If you are a martial arts movie fanatic as I am and you analyze Ong Bak 2 then you cannot argue with this statement. Those that regard this film a lame martial arts film – are not into martial arts at all, and last but not least they don’t understand it. It’s an action film that will satisfy most action fans in more ways than one. I wished it was a bit longer but what he did at the end will have you rooting for him. As for the 2 white bad guys at the end. We need more fight please…. 8/10 Being an ardent lover of martial art flicks and all its heroes- Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa, to name my favourite ones- I have been waiting for a long time to have the hero of my own country, Indonesia; of our own martial art tradition, Silat. The actress who played the mother character was also really great even though her role wasn’t too long. Great plot! Can Yuda help them? While there are moments inserted for dramatic breathing space, the action sequences aren’t forgotten and got interspersed adequately within the first few acts, until the last one which became a non-stop, adrenaline pumping finale that was reminiscence of old Hong Kong action flicks, or even Bruce Lee ones, where the protagonist go up against incredible odds, and one on one (or two) situations against Caucasian villains, who are portrayed here in quite over-the-top fashion in need of a good hard kick up the arse. Needless to say I am also extremely upset about many really great foreign films not seeing the light of day here especially when many of them outshine the awful vomit Hollywood spews in my face on a constant basis. 4 out of 5 stars. I actually could not stop tearing after seen last scene of Adit was going to school by fare welling his guardian mom and looks like Yuda. I was preparing to steel myself to the agony of watching the two Americans doing their super cliché way that they are always portrayed in any Asian film, but I was pleasantly surprised in their commitment to character and they made convincing bad guys. Some of the scenes should also go into the “martial art cinematography history” as creative and mind-blowing. com/review/R28DSJSHY64RA2) The above review sums it up best.

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The music was especially good in places. They hit strong, they fall hard, and they fight ferociously. The duration is a sign left by his ego, when a sane-headed other person could help him editing parts that needn’t be there so that the pace could be increased a bit. I wish it was snappier and instead of waiting for the fight scenes to begin/end it would just naturally lead the audience. Action junkies will do yourselves no favour if you miss Iko Uwais maiden cinematic outing on the big screen. He is able to give a sweet smile (he has wonderful smile indeed) and brutal angry face with enough convincing acting. The only part of the film I did not understand was the business that Ratger and his partner were apart of and what their relationship was to each other. Looking forward to see more movies from this director! The lighting was good, sound effect and music score was great, editing was quite good. He sets his sights on Jakarta and has plans to set up a Silat school, only for his contact to go missing with nary a trace. Merantau – and Singapore has to add a “Warrior” to the title so that we know it’s an action film, duh – is a well executed, entertaining film as far as actioners are concerned. Seeing Johni run away,Yuda’s expectation of being thanked for saving her are destroyed,when Astri tells him to get lost,due to him now having ruined her only source of income. Having said that, there are things where it can be better. Just some, you know, natural details. Still I was mesmerized by the plot and action. Really, really bad-ass. Not only because the two movies come from the same region and introduce us to the new generation of martial art actors, but also because the vague similarities in their faces. However, Yuda had grown up and it was time to move on and find his own way in life and he wanted to become a silat teacher in Jakarta, but the challenges he faces will make him disregard his dream and help a girl and her younger brother get away from the evils of treacherous men who threaten their well being. ) and some of the scenes are too similar for it to be mere coincidence; particularly the bone-breaking fight towards the end and the one-man-enters-building-to-kick-ass set-piece. But as an exception, the last good one I saw was “Pan’s Labyrinth”. Of course there are some flaws, but I was surprise that it was way less than expected. The story needed to be a bit more developed but the fight screen between the silat friend in the elevator was pretty intense. Fighting scenes were actually good! Gareth Evan’s Merantau is a very finely photographed & expertly choreographed film. Yuda lived in Sumatra with his family, who were hardworking and worked on the rice field. Now a word or so about ‘merantau’. The Minangkabau people, famous for their silat and their business instinct, are matrilineal, unlike the strictly patrilineal Bataks, the loosely patrilineal the Manadonese, or the Javanese that don’t care about any of that. Quickly putting the phone down,Yuda realises that his Merantau is going to be doing everything he can to get Astri free from the pimps and the thugs,and to also take out the lead gangsters such as Johni who rule the cities underworld. In fact, it’s a rich feast for the camera crew. It’s not invented to look good. However, this film deliver more then expected. I can feel the anxiety, loneliness and despair of Adit when he was forced to hide when his sister was chased by the thugs. Since then there has been a minor explosion of talent with the likes of Tony Jaa, JeeJa Yanin, Wu Jing, Luxia Jiang, Johnny Nguyen, and Rina Takeda. he doesn’t try to make this movie looks international and unoriginal, but he made this so Indonesian. Heck, even the caucasian bad guys were well-acted, and that’s a major rarity in Asian action films.

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