Satriya (Jefri Nichol), an activist in the reform movement, is on the run from the military. His older brother, Adam (Aksara Dena), who is a member of the military, decides to help Satriya and becomes a deserter. The low image resolution captured by the camcorder, plus the choice of shots during the chase scene, makes the sequence look like it was taken from an amateur action film made by students.
Then it was revealed that the incident was a movie scene. Satriya and Adam are actors, with real names Surya and Bram. Yes, Aum! show a movie within a movie. To be precise, Bambang Ipoenk KM’s directorial debut took the form of a mockumentary, containing the behind-the-scenes process of making an independent film. Best Movie Site
The producer, Linda (Agnes Natasya Tjie), has the ambition to create works so that the public understands the importance of reform. But because it was done in the midst of political turmoil, the production was full of limitations. Minimal budget, minimal equipment, even taking pictures must be very careful. Several times Linda asked her crew not to make a sound, even though they were making “riot” scenes such as chases or raids. Because it could be that the residents who innocently asked “What are you doing?”, or the meatball seller who happened to stop by, were spies. Not only Linda, I as a spectator were also made suspicious.
The problem is not only about limitations, there is also a clash of egos between Linda and Panca (Chicco Jerikho), the idealistic director. Panca, who calls his style “Cinema Dialectic”, insists on repeating the shoot because of unique issues (if you don’t want to be called weird), such as pictures that are “too lively”, acting that is “too emotional”, or musical accompaniment that is “too touching.” dead”. If he failed to comply, he did not hesitate to tantrum, cursing, and even throwing things.
AUM! it will be even more enjoyable for audiences who have been involved in film or theater productions (Panca triggers surreal scenes set on the stage for the show, which were shot in the Societet Militair building where I have performed several times, thus evoking many memories), which are very limited and stressful. . Panca’s tantrums do create an unhealthy work climate, but that happens a lot. Maybe Bambang Ipoenk KM and Gin Teguh are also doing a rant through their script.
In order to spread the word to the international public, Linda involved Paul Whiteberg (Mr. Richard), a journalist from the United States to record the process (which we watched footage of). When tensions between Linda and Panca escalated, a documentary was made, in which each cast and crew were interviewed about their conflict. There we can learn the details of each character, even though it’s not really that essential, because the recording of the “original” making-of already provides enough information. Movie Review
Jefri Nichol appeared solid in reviving two different figures, namely Satriya, the explosive activist character, and Surya, the actor, who tends to remain silent while following the director’s instructions. But the best performer Aum! of course Chicco Jericho. All of his anger and passion when directing the details, which radiates from both verbal speech and gestures, will remind you of the figures you have met if you have ever been involved in a film or theater production process.
AUM! clearly aimed at criticizing authoritarian regimes that restrict freedom of work. Interestingly, even though the artistic department, from cinematography to setting and properties, is thick with 90s nuances, as well as the political climate that was built in line with the 1998 reform era, the film never specifically mentions the year, or the name of the president. It doesn’t feel like (just) to avoid potential conflicts, but to send a wider message, that we are still experiencing similar conditions today.
Interestingly, some of the character’s attitudes actually reflect the target of their criticism. Linda screams against corruption, but bribes zoo employees to be allowed to take pictures. He also cut scenes which he thought were not in accordance with the purpose of the film, without Panca’s knowledge, like the government shutting down the works because they were considered disturbing. Meanwhile, Panca is like a dictator with an iron fist.
The picture of “we become what we hate” is very interesting, has more complexity, thought-provoking, and in fact, has often happened in reality. Unfortunately, a twist in the last three minutes erases that complexity, leading the film to a more “safe” message. No mistake, because basically Aum! it was made to send a message about how cunning and dangerous the power holders are, although there is potential to dig deeper. Not a bad twist either, because various hints have been spread (including the matter of choosing a tiger mask). Top Movie