Yosep Anggi Noen, a beloved filmmaker in Locarno and Busan, is making a comeback at the latter event this year with a unique blend of genres. His latest creation features crime, action, martial arts, and mystery, along with some of the hottest actors from Indonesia.
The film “24 Hours with Gaspar” will be shown at the Busan International Film Festival.
Based on the novel of the same name by Sabda Armandio, this story is set in 2032, a time that doesn’t seem much different from today as the wealthy still take advantage of the poor. Gaspar, a detective known for his unconventional methods, has earned the admiration and sometimes even awe of the locals for his skills. While investigating a case involving a government-led massacre, he meets an informant who reveals information about his childhood friend Kirana. The evidence points to Wan Ali, a human trafficker with ties to Babaji, the man who raised Gaspar as an orphan, and Bachtiar, another criminal. With the help of Agnes and Kick, who are following him, Gaspar tries to gather a team to take down Wan Ali. However, he faces many challenges along the way, including the fact that he only has 24 hours to live due to his heart condition.
It can be stated that Noen’s initial attempt at exploring different genres is disorganized, with various elements at play. Multiple narratives mix and conflict with each other, featuring various characters with unclear backgrounds and motives. Gaspar is one of these characters, portrayed in a way that becomes more coherent as the plot unfolds, while still maintaining a captivating sense of confusion until then.
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The chaos initially works well, thanks in part to the charismatic performances of actors such as Reza Rahadian, Shenina Cinnamon (sporting an unconventional techno-punk look), and Laura Basuki. However, as the film progresses, the sense of balance is lost and it becomes overwhelming. It appears that director Noen tried to include too many characters and events from the book, resulting in a convoluted plot and unnecessary characters. This may have been better suited for a television series, but instead was squeezed into a 98-minute film.
Unfortunately, the attempt to add comedic moments, specifically the “interrogation” of the elderly woman and the “raid”, falls flat. The most intriguing aspect of the story is how the main character is portrayed as unlikable, as seen through the reactions of those around him, in a strange yet amusing manner.
However, the film is undeniably of a high caliber. The cinematography by Teoh Gay Hian successfully captures both sleek and gritty visuals, creating a captivating techno-noir aesthetic with its use of color. The action sequences are notably striking, especially in their brutality, and the incorporation of sci-fi elements adds to the overall effectiveness of the film, albeit briefly. Akhmad Fesdi Anggoro’s editing contributes to a fast-paced and appropriately frenetic vibe, while the music is certainly a positive aspect.
Yosep Anggi Noen definitely possesses strong filmmaking skills, which is evident in his work “24 Hours with Gaspar”. However, there are noticeable flaws in the writing and storyline, ultimately creating a film that is impressive but lacks coherence and balance.