Weekend movie tip

The Forbidden Door [2009]

Who would have thought that Indonesia could produce such a fine thriller?

Directed by Joko Anwar, The Forbidden Door is a truly clever, polished and very good looking picture. The photo is stunning, with a perfectly matched jazzy soundtrack. The story is also quite interesting, with some remarkable scenes. You can clearly see the references to Lynch here.

The film is probably not for everyone…as with many of the best movies. There are some provocative violence in it, especially that towards children. It has been characterized as a “gore flick” but I disagree. Surely there are some blood in it, but to be honest it is merely one particular scene which I consider “bloody” and it does fit the story well. Indonesia does have a history of “gore films” especially during the 70s so I guess that is one reason why people might be quick to judge this as such. For me, The Forbidden Door is a very good and thoughtful thriller that will keep you talking about it long after it’s finished.

Here is a review:

The Forbidden Door‘s protagonist is not a starving artist, but a prosperous one learning that success can be just as torturous.  The film opens on him sipping champagne while denying an art collector one of his gallery pieces, as it has already sold.  The first few shots inside the art gallery give an initial impression that this may be a visually uninteresting film.  This perception is shattered after Gambir and his wife leave the gallery, a crane shot swoops up and away, past a blazing marquee before we’re thrown into one of the coolest opening credit sequences ever (think James Bond meets Roman Polanski) and we see that director Joko Anwar has some flair to share.

I won’t try to summarize the plot which, like so many ambitious horror films, starts out strong, becomes a little convoluted, ultimately leaves the viewer thinking ‘wtf?’.  The titular forbidden door that Gambir can’t enter actually has very little to do with the plot, but is just one of several catalysts that contribute to his insanity and paranoia.  I will say that the gory moments were squirm-worthy but not gratuitous and evoked cheers from the After Dark audience.

As previously stated, the main character in an artist (a sculptor to be precise), and what is most striking about the film is the art direction.  From Gambir’s art deco home to the ironic English Jakarta signage, many forms of art make their way into the every frame.  Even Gambir’s haircut draws attention to itself;, it’s hip, suits the character perfectly and actually does quite a bit to aid Fachry Albar’s already strong performance.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys watching Eastern filmmakers’ take on the horror genre.  Rest assured, bloody revenge and dark humour abound.” – Dorkshelf.com


4 Responses to “Weekend movie tip”

  1. September 4, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Pintu Terlarang emang yahuddddd
    mantaf deh


  2. 2 rianiyang
    September 4, 2010 at 3:43 am

    i couldn’t agree more with u.one of the finest movie from aIndonesia.which i found very rare.good review anyway!

  3. 4 Astho
    September 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Gua belum nonton, penasaran.

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