Aum! Movie Reviews (2021): New Order Criticism and Contemporary Sentiment


Aum Movies ! from Cinema Online uses the background of the struggle of youth at the end of the New Order by bringing back beautiful old school images and charming details. Carrying the theme of freedom of expression, Aum! is one of the Indonesian films that you should watch this year.

This film is divided into two parts. The first part, ‘Pershow’, tells the story of Satriya, played by Surya Jatitama (Jefri Nichol), a student who is passionate about voicing reform, and his brother Adam, played by Bram Sanjaya (Aksara Dena), a member of the military who wants to save his younger brother from being killed. military assault.

While the second part, ‘Perjalanan’, tells about how the short film ‘Pershow’ was made. Starting from the desire of Linda (Agnes Natasya Thie) as a producer to bring the voice of reform in the film with the director Panca (Chicco Jerikho).

Two parts that go hand in hand
The film, which was directed by Bambang “Ipoenk” KM, is divided into two separate parts, each with its own aesthetic and world. The ‘show’ is made artsy and raw, complete with symbols and some surreal scenes.

While the second part is made more real with a documentary style from a slightly more stable image, taken from the perspective of the first person, namely the character of the American journalist, Paul Whiteberg. Including explaining the symbols and director’s interpretation of some of the scenes in the first part.

The 4:3 ratio also brings out the nostalgic feel of the 90s image. Complete with noise that is still felt, to the alluring yellowish palette. You could say the attention to detail is paid off with captivating images from start to finish.

Jefri Nichol and Aksara Dena shine with the two different characters they play. A pair of brothers who are awkward but need each other in the first part, and amateur actors with opposite personalities in the second part.

A thriller is certainly incomplete without a twist, including this film. There is an interesting plot break at the end of the story. The previous faults have been marked at the beginning of the second act . So the second spectacle will make you aware of the markers that were previously displayed in some scenes.

Criticism of the past and present
The setting in the late 90’s brings its own color to the film Aum!. Starting from the color palette to the themes brought. Gives a vibe that is not too far from one of the country’s newer films, such as Revenge, Rindu Must be Paid Completely (2021 ) .

Two parts Aum! nicely represents two different points of view; film criticism of the social repression carried out by the New Order government, while the second part focuses on alternative media as part of the fight against this repression.

Both complement each other in describing the various challenges faced by art activists and the general public who want to promote reform.

Title Aum! represents the Suharto era, when Indonesia was known as the Asian Tiger. Even the tiger symbol which is depicted chasing the main character in the first part as a military representation is made as a symbol that outlines the twist at the end of the second part.

Like it or not, this film doesn’t feel old or outdated. Even though it is set 23 years from now, the theme of the narrative that is highlighted does not stop until the end of the New Order era. Where freedom of expression seems to be restricted and (re) confined.

OMG! firmly brought social criticism at the end of the New Order, renewed by contemporary sentiments targeting the current era of government. Well presented and beautiful in depicting two stories of resistance, through action and fiction.