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‘Orang Kaya Baru’: Heartwarming family film with great cast

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, January 22, 2019  /  03:18 pm

What would you do if you suddenly became rich? Would life be easier if you had millions of dollars? Family comedy film Orang Kaya Baru (Nouveau Rich) explores these questions, showing the audience what might happen should such a situation arise.

Orang Kaya Baru follows a regular working class family as they struggle financially.

Bapak (Lukman Sardi) works in a workshop, while his wife Ibu (Cut Mini) helps in supporting the family by selling cakes. They have three children – aspiring artist Duta (Derby Romero), the intelligent Tika (Raline Shah) and the youngest of the three, Dody (Fatih Unru).

Duta and Tika are currently at university, while Dody is soon to enter junior high school. Bapak has worked really hard to send Duta and Tika to quality, expensive universities and plans to do the same for Dody. Despite the financial challenges, they’re still a happy family.

Things change when Bapak passes away and the family finds out that they're actually wealthy.

During a press conference in Plaza Senayan XXI, Central Jakarta, on Monday, director Ody C. Harahap said that the film was actually based on screenwriter Joko Anwar’s childhood imagination.

“It’s possibly everyone’s dreams. We tried to realize it by [showing] all the possibilities of what would happen if a family suddenly received that kind of money,” said Ody.

Orang Kaya Baru succeeded in answering these questions. Although the plot seems a bit lost toward the end, the film is chock full of witty banter and explores the topics of family, friendship and money.

Read also: Farewell 2018 & cheers to the new year

In the beginning, the film shows the little things we frequently take for granted and the charm of living with less. The opening scene shows Dody bathing in a bak mandi (traditional bathtub), which is sure to bring some viewers down memory lane.

The film’s dinner scenes are smartly executed, as heartwarming dialogue and strong chemistry between the actors make them feel very natural.

It also features a well-chosen cast. Cut Mini gets deep in her character transformation, from a supportive housewife to a hysterical mother naively coping with her newfound wealth. Raline Shah and Derby Romero as the children juggle with their dreams and social pressures. Fatih Unru naturally portrays a lovable Dody as he deals with bullies.

The main characters are supported by Lukman Sardi, Dea Panendra and Refal Hady, each of whom do a good job in their roles.

Moreover, in addition to touching on values of family and friendship, screenwriter Joko explores other issues, such as Indonesians’ inferiority complex with foreigners.

In regard to cinematography, the film also captures the small details of a densely populated neighborhood, from the satay seller who screams, “Te..Sa..Te”, to the small alleyways and public transportation. The scenes come and go naturally, making the audience, especially those from working or middle-class backgrounds, feel closer to what is happening on screen.

Orang Kaya Baru is a rare family comedy film. The film talks about values and entertains the audience with smart jokes, while at the same time allowing viewers to go wild with their imagination. (wng)

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