A ? for us
Local movie-goers do not need to feel sad and moping of the recent high popularity of horror films that particularly are not scary at all--especially ones with lines of international and local adult movie stars as their ‘zest’--there are also films that do not always sell sex. Still some exist, though not many, creative workers and investors in our movie industry that produced films which conveyed important message for their audience.
One of them is “?” (question mark), a movie directed by Hanung Bramantyo and produced by Dapur Film and Mahaka Pictures. At the beginning, this movie was provocatively started with a scene of an unknown young man who was stabbing a religious leader/figure. The perpetrator then immediately sped up on his motorcycle, not overtaken by the masses. The next scene, the audience was taken to the lives of three families in one of Semarang’s corner. The first one was a family of China descendant, represented by Kat Sun Tan family, the owner of a Chinese food restaurant who employed a number of Muslim’s employees. Nonetheless, the son, Hendra, was not interested at all to the restaurant. Then there were a mMuslim couple, Soleh and Menuk, who lived in an economic mediocre. The last character was Rika, a widow who converted from Islam to Catholic. Rika lived with her son, Abi, who embraced Islam dearly. There were also Surya, an infamous Muslim actor who had a crush on Rica.
With such a storyline as mention above, Hanung without a fright was chosen quit a sensitive issue regarding recent different religious life. From converting religion’s scene to the explosion in a church’s scene, they might trigger criticisms from some parties who felt cornered. However, if you watch this film carefully, you will also find that actually Hanung asked the audience to live in harmony to the religious diversity in the real life. Like the scene when a bunch of Banser members guarded a church, or when Menuk prayed her Sholat in the restaurant that was illustrated adjacent to her employer, Sun Tan Kat, who was setting his incense, executed the congregation of Confucianism, and many others.
Intentionally or not, there were numerous comedy scenes inserted in. Through these humours audience were expected to not only laugh, but also think, even feel the bitterness in the same time. Like one when Surya (Agus Kuncoro) was rehearsal a role of Jesus Christ in a mosque, and Pak Ustadz caught him. Also when Surya was burst into tears inside his Santa Claus’ costume after entertaining a dying child, and so on. To some extend, the comedy had certainly spiced up the rythm of the story, and later on made the film much more enjoyable to watch without ruining the message.
The success of this movie should also be regarded to the role of Zaskia Mecca, the casting director, who has made the all the casts of this film deserve to be called ‘the right actor fot the right role’. Especially for senior actor, Hengky Soelaiman, who played as the restaurant owner, Kat Tan Sun, and Agus Kuncoro who played as the infamous actor.
Regardless the theme and the casts, the movie is still having the exact same weakness as the other Indonesian movies. Every character’s personality is prepared in a hurry. In developing plot, there are some ‘surprises’ which leaves questions to the audience. However, the question mark or obscurity in this movie is deliberately left out for the spectators who watch it, to