IFF 2016 Review: Naga Bonar Becomes 2 (Indonesia, 2007)

Nagabonar_Jadi_2

Starring Indonesian veteran talents Deddy Mizwar, Tora Sudiro, Lukman Sardi and Wulan Guritno, Naga Bonar Jadi 2 (Naga Bonar Becomes 2) is Indonesia’s all time favourite comedy film. Produced in 2007 as a sequel to the crowned Best Film of the Year by Festival Film Indonesia in 1987, Nagabonar, the film tells a story of Nagabonar’s relationship with his son, Bonaga.

While the story mostly revolves around the relationship between a pickpocket who turned into a general during Indonesia’s war for independence, and his metropolis son, it also explores and highlights the differences in views and values of the older and post-modern generations in Indonesia on love, religions, traditions and patriotism.

When Nagabonar (Deddy Mizwar) arrived in Jakarta and learned that his successful son, Bonaga (Tora Sudiro) plans to sell his plantation, he was outraged – especially after knowing the potential buyers were Japanese, the people who come from the very same country he once fought against during war. Using that as the backbone of the story, Naga Bonar Becomes 2 smartly, accurately and humorously represent and reflect on Indonesia from the eyes of the older generation as a collection of moral messages to the post-modern audiences.

The moral messages firstly include religious beliefs and traditions as well as respect towards elderly that might have been lost in Indonesia’s modern society. Lead actor and director Deddy Mizwar then inspired his urban audiences with his consistent and heartfelt representation of nationalism in the film – from the visits to various monuments to the use of national anthem as background music.

Deddy also continued to stimulate, touch and capture the hearts of his audiences through his various depictions of love. Without sexy and vulgar love scene, Naga Bonar Becomes 2 displays diverse ideals of unconditional, platonic love – for family, for freedom and the country, for friendship and honesty, for work and even for changes and development.

Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Naga Bonar Becomes 2 was screened at the Indonesian Film Festival Under The Stars 2016 in Melbourne.