Film Review: 3 Srikandi (Indonesia, 2016)

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Lya reviews one of the most anticipated Indonesian films of the year, 3 Srikandi (2016). The film features Indonesian top talents namely Reza Rahardian, Bunga Citra Lestari, Chelsea Islan and Tara Basro.

3 Srikandi tells a story of three Indonesian female archers – Nurfitriyana, Lilies Handayani and Kusuma Wardhani. They are Indonesia’s first female archers who won medals in Olympics. The group walked away from 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul with silver medals. However, before the release of the film, little was known about their success stories. In line with the rising awareness of female empowerment, Producer Raam Punjabi and Director Iman Brotoseno’s collaborative effort successfully inspired many with these three heroines in August 2016.

It’s good to see how local Indonesian productions are catching up with socio-cultural trends such as feminism. Sadly, you can’t expect 3 Srikandi, which translates to 3 Heroes to be thought provoking. It is still commercialized and easy to watch – catering to the masses. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see how the film chooses to use stories of passionate women in portraying the figure of a hero.

The three heroines were portrayed by Bunga Citra Lestari, Chelsea Islan and Tara Basro, while Indonesian heartthrob Reza Rahardian played their strict coach. One would expect to see intense sports competition and political battles between Reza and the government bodies after watching at the trailer. However, the drama focuses on each individual’s struggles – mostly revolving around love and family. Like I mentioned earlier, the film is produced with a wide range of audience in mind.

Its added humor mostly comes from Chelsea Islan’s Javanese dialect and sassy character. The audience will be in love with Tara Basro’s Bugis dialect and sweet nature, too. While the two bring us joy, laughter and heartwarming stories, Bunga Citra Lestari’s and Reza Rahardian’s acting does not disappoint. Well, what’s new? The two have proven to the world numerously why they are Indonesia’s top actors. Still, seeing their on screen chemistry after Habibie & Ainun (2012) and My Stupid Boss (2016) once again leaves me in awe.

What I like most from the film overall is the wit of 3 Srikandi production and marketing team to have the film screened around Olympic Games Rio 2016 and national day. Intentionally blurring the line between storytelling and reality with it. I like how it subtly delivers the narrative without being overly dramatic, too. And how it is made to be enjoyable for people of all ages while dynamically showcasing Indonesia’s rich culture. Combined with good technicality, the film’s compelling story line that is based on real life situations, director Iman Brotoseno successfully unites the viewer’s heart with the pride of their nation.

Review Score: THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)