Janji Joni

Janji Joni

Janji Joni (Joni’s Promise) (Director: Joko Anwar, Indonesia, 2005): Thanks to excellent film site Twitch, I scored a couple of free passes to this Indonesian film, playing at the 10th annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. It’s the story of Joni, a film reel delivery guy, and his quest to deliver all of his reels on time and win the girl of his dreams. It’s a sweet and simple film, and the feature debut of its director, Joko Anwar. This is the first film I’ve ever seen from Indonesia, and it was certainly great to see what life in Jakarta is like, as well as hear some of the many Indonesian rock bands on the soundtrack, but the film still felt a little too cute to me. The leads are very attractive, but the humour is extremely broad, not unlike what you’d see in most Bollywood fare, and the characters are paper thin. Technically, the director has done a lot with what must have been a miniscule budget, and he pays tribute to film fans, as well as many of his favourite directors. In fact, the film tries very hard to be an Indonesian Run Lola Run but without the dark side of that film. In the end, it was entertaining but simple.Perhaps it wasn’t fair that I’d just seen the new Bond film Casino Royale the night before. With surely less than 1% of that film’s budget, I’d say Anwar has done pretty well. And I’m glad to have gotten a glimpse into life in another place.

Official Website


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