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Joko Anwar, cast members (try not to) spill the beans on ‘Gundala’

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, July 16, 2019  /  06:17 pm

The highly anticipated local film Gundala is set to hit cinemas on Aug. 29. The film is based on the Indonesian superhero comic books by Harya “Hasmi” Suraminata.

A month prior to the premiere, fans still know little about Gundala as the official teaser, which was released in April, only reveals tiny details about the movie.

A few cast members, namely Abimana Aryasatya, Marissa Anita and Ario Bayu, as well as the film’s director-slash-scriptwriter Joko Anwar, recently swung by to The Jakarta Post office but were tight-lipped when discussing the film, declining to reveal any details.

The interview kicked off with Joko sharing his experiences in creating the script.

Gundala is the hardest scenario that I’ve ever written,” he said. “Because adapting the comic books to film would be very difficult [if it stuck rigidly to the format]. It needs to adapt, changing the 1970s-1980s comics' sensibilities for a contemporary audience. It’s hard because I had never done something this big.”

Read also: Artists, illustrators join forces to welcome ‘Gundala’ movie

He mentioned that he worked in museums and cemeteries to finish the script.

“The film features cemeteries and museums,” he said, sharing a tiny bit of information regarding the shooting locations.

Speaking about the shooting, Marissa, who plays Kurniati Dewi, the mother of Sancaka, said she needed strong stamina.

“One of the shooting locations was a factory, so it was really hot. It’s in Cilegon. So when we arrived there [...] it was easier for the actors when we were placed in an original setting, the humid weather, the sand; I ate the sand. So he made it easy for us, the actors,” said Marissa.

Abimana, who plays the main character Sancaka, or Gundala, shared a similar opinion, “If the set is supportive, it makes it easier for us.”

Read also: Official poster of Joko Anwar’s 'Gundala' released

Meanwhile Ario was recently named as a member of the film’s cast.

He explained that he played the role of Zulham, the right hand of Pengkor.

"Pengkor is set to be the nemesis of Gundala," he said.

Unfortunately, Ario could not elaborate further on his role, as Joko had warned him not to give out any spoilers.

Joko said that all of the secrecy was designed to ensure the fun of watching the film.

“We want to make sure to [maintain] the fun of watching Gundala. The fun of following Gundala happens when you’re watching it in a cinema. We keep everything [a secret] so those who watch it will experience many surprises,” he said.

When the team was asked to describe Gundala, Marissa said that Gundala was a manly character. Interestingly, Joko felt that the film was kind of feminist, although he did not explain any further.

Meanwhile, Abimana said the film displayed "our anxieties."

As the person who is the main focus of Gundala, Abimana also said the film "is a reflection of us."

“It’s all about us, us, us; not about me, not about Bayu, not about Marissa or Joko. It’s us as Indonesians,” he said. (kes)

Watch cast members (hilariously) try to answer questions about Gundala from Joko Anwar.

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