Dir. Angga Dwimas Sasongko. Indonesia. 2023. 140mins
When a terrorist risk plunges Jakarta into panic, Indonesia’s Counterterrorism Bureau wastes no time making an attempt to determine the cell accountable. However it’s hindered by the technological sophistication of its adversaries – to not point out the probability that there’s a mole within the ranks. Motion thriller 13 Bombs might sound prefer it has a lot in widespread with real-time tv phenomenon 24 however, whereas the stressed camerawork and desaturated color schemes instantly recall that manufacturing’s glossy aesthetic, Angga Dwimas Sasongko manages to flip the script in numerous methods.
A normal adherence to a well-known template prevents ’13 Bombs’ from ever actually quickening the heart beat
There may be, for instance, the notable lack of an area equal to 24’s unkillable alpha male protagonist Jack Bauer. The federal government brokers listed here are largely by-the-book sorts, with the heroes being youthful cryptocurrency alternate co-founders who discover themselves embroiled within the plot. Past their programming experience, each lack the mandatory particular set of abilities to tackle terrorists. Or as one places it throughout a second of duress: “We’re simply two nerds constructing a start-up!”
Chosen for the Limelight Programme at Rotterdam, 13 Bombs has the hallmarks of streaming product quite than pageant fare. Nonetheless, its concentrated effort to handle human complexities inside a ticking-clock situation ought to guarantee additional publicity at genre-focused occasions. The movie opened in Indonesia on December 28, and will mine respectable theatrical returns in South East Asia with its polished mixture of pressure and topicality (the plot loosely incorporates the largest monetary fraud in Indonesian historical past). Internationally, 13 Bombs might nicely find yourself on a streaming platform amid the very content material that Sasongko and screenwriter M. Irfan Ramli are so eager to subvert.
The chaos commences when an armoured automotive is attacked by well-equipped militants. It’s not a theft – the cell leaves the cash to be looted by hard-up bystanders – quite an attention-grabber, quickly adopted by a requirement delivered by hacking immediately into Indonesia’s Bureau of Counterterrorism. The group’s masked chief Arok (Rio Dewanto) states they’ve planted 13 bombs all through Jakarta which will likely be detonated each eight hours except 100 bitcoins are obtained.
For the switch, Arok specifies the foreign money buying and selling platform Indodax, which is run by entrepreneurs Oscar (Chicco Kurniawan) and William (Ardhito Pramono). Taken into custody, they profess to having no affiliation with the terrorists and agree to help with the time-sensitive investigation. Upon realising that Indodax was chosen particularly and they’re being framed, the tech-savvy pair are compelled to flee from the authorities. Assisted by William’s cool-headed fiancée Agnes (Lutesha), they attempt to find the cell independently to clear their names and forestall the lack of harmless lives.
Within the opening stretch of13 Bombs, Sasongko effectively establishes an environment of concern and briskly sketches the skilled dynamics of the counterterrorism unit beneath the strict command of bureau chief Damaskus (Rukman Rosadi). Though there are glimpses of the cell and its operation, identities and motivations are initially shrouded to place the viewers on the facet of the authorities.
But professional cross-cutting by editor Hendra Adhi Susanto quickly splinters the fast-moving narrative to include three distinct views. If the extremes that Arok is keen to go to are by no means justified, his causes for bringing Jakarta to a standstill make him a palpably human ‘villain’. Moreover, sure members of his cell transcend one-dimensional henchmen standing to turn out to be justifiably aggrieved people who’re doubtlessly sacrificing themselves to create a greater future for his or her communities. The authorities, in the meantime, start to look more and more slavish to a system that oppresses an impoverished mass beneath the pretence of stability.
Actually caught within the center is the likable duo of Oscar and William, who symbolize a generational deadlock as tech-savvy graduates who’re disillusioned with the system however wish to change it from inside by utilizing business instruments. Their mutual anxiousness and outside-the-box pondering offers this strand a jittery vitality which reaches a essential peak when the seemingly aligned pair discover themselves at ideological loggerheads attributable to essential variations in household backgrounds.
Though Sasongko forcefully questions the elemental politics of a tried and examined style, a normal adherence to a well-known template and over-reliance on inventory components prevents 13 Bombs from ever actually quickening the heart beat. There may be a variety of livid typing as characters rattle off technical specifics, whereas the aforementioned mole within the bureau is completely guessable, and scenes of tactical engagement happen in the usual places of workplace buildings and repurposed warehouses. The set items are fortunately gentle on shaky-cam and convey a way of spatial geography, however are solely perfunctorily staged. Amid the gunfire, a final-reel knife duel seems like an compulsory inclusion given Indonesian cinema’s present standing because the main purveyor of grisly stabbing mayhem.
Regardless of one of the best efforts of cinematographer Arnand Pratikto so as to add depth and scale, the movie has a small display screen look that makes it play like a condensed restricted sequence. That mentioned, viewers who’re nearly as strapped for time because the movie’s protagonists may handily break 13 Bombs into three ‘episodes’ for streaming consumption with out dropping any momentum or impression.
Manufacturing firm: Visinema Photos
Worldwide gross sales: WME Impartial, email@example.com
Producer: Taufan Adryan
Screenplay: M. Irfan Ramli
Modifying: Hendra Adhi Susanto
Cinematography: Arnand Pratikto
Music: Abel Huray
Foremost solid: Ardhito Pramono, Lutesha, Chicco Kurniawan, Putri Ayudya, Rio Dewanto, Ganindra Bimo, Niken Anjani, Rukman Rosadi