Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017)


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My first Indonesian, feminist, spaghetti western. Marlina (Marsha Timothy), a young widow living alone, defends herself with cool insouciance against a rapacious gang.

Being a woman in rural Indonesia doesn’t seem such a good deal. Marlina is visited by grizzled Markus (Egy Fedly) who calmly insists on her hospitality and then informs her of the seven men who will join him later that night to steal her money and livestock and rape her. But first she must cook them a meal.

Delightfully, and in true Clint Eastwood style, Marlina hardly turn a hair as she sets about protecting herself. On the way to report the incident to the police, she meet up with Novi (Dea Panendra), who is 10 months pregnant and in search of her absentee and overly jealous and superstitious husband.

As expected of a spaghetti western, the Morricone-like musical score and the dry, featureless landscape are integral characters in the telling of the story. Marlina is cooler than Eastwood and has more heart. The male characters are a range of negative stereotypes, from idiots to thugs, and it is only the women who show strength of character.

Although not meant to be taken too seriously, the message of the film is not a trivial one.

Have you seen this film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

One thought on “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017)

  1. Pingback: Best of MIFF | fillums

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