Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

How Could I Forget Merantau!?

Merantau got a US home video release a few weeks ago.

I know what you’re thinking:

“What the fuck is Merantau, and why the fuck should I give a damn?”

Merantau is an Indonesian martial arts film, and you should be mindful to give a damn because it’s a martial arts film I’ve been eagerly anticipating for some time now.

Showcasing the Indonesian martial art of Silat, as performed by the film’s breakout action star-in-the-making, Iko Uwais; the film looks to be a solid entry in the martial arts subgenre.

I've heard talk of "next big thing" surrounding Iko Uwais. He's already got another movie lined up, so we'll see...

The trailer (from over a year ago) gave me the impression that the film was of the classic “country boy goes to the city, is forced to beat the shit out of city-folk” storyline, but with the added (and welcome) twist of being extremely well-shot, and possessed of surprisingly imaginative and varied fight sequences.

See for yourself:

Pretty impressive, eh?

To be perfectly honest, the first thing that aroused my interest when I caught word of Merantau, was the simple fact that it was an Indonesian production.

In my youth, I was fascinated by Indonesia, largely due to the famed Komodo Dragon being a fixture of the archipelago.

Pictured: The Godzilla of the Animal Kingdom.

While my interest started with the wildlife, I went on to study some of the culture, food, art, and even shared class time in college with a gamelan group.

Of course, me being me; I also took time to look into Silat, a beautiful and stylistically varied martial art that hasn’t gotten much exposure in the states.

I have my dad to thank for introducing me to Silat, as he was the one that first told me of it.

Merantau stands as the first Indonesian film I’ve had any reason to get excited about, and more importantly; the first I believe I will have seen.

For whatever reason, the release date of this film slipped my mind; but rest assured, I will seek it out, and I will (hopefully) enjoy the shit out of it.

The movie got Best Film at Action Fest 2010, so in the martial arts movie community; it’s a major player.

My expectations are high for this one, so expect a very critical review in the near future.

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Filed under: Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Sean Parker says:

    That looks awesome! I gotta say though, I have never seen a film that adhers more closely to the look and feel of Ong Bak than this. I mean, the color pallette, set design and art direction, much of the cinematography has so much in commone it could be a sequel — heck, even Silat’s face could pass off as Tony Jaa’s to the less trained eye.

    But seeing as how there’s been a lack of this kind of film for quite some time, I am all for it. Totally going to movie night this soon, so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  2. aznbadger says:

    Hah, I hear you on the Ong Bak vibe. Like I told you before though, my main objection to Tony Jaa’s films has always had to do with the choreographer’s tendency to block out the majority of the fights by having Jaa run up to people and “do things” to them. Merantau seems to have a lot more of the sparring and back and forth exchanges that I love so much. Either way, I’m just hoping it’s half as good as I hope.

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