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Monday, February 10, 2020

'Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts' DVD: Asian-Style 'Kill Bill'

Icarus Films once more shows the immense value of world cinema as to the DVD release of the 2017 Indonesian feminist drama "Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts." This compelling movie with a strong live-stage vibe shows that Quentin Tarantino does not have the monopoly on Amazon warrior revenge films.

The 17 wins and 25 additional nominations for "Marlina" show that director Mouly Surya has all the right stuff; these accolades include numerous honors at the 2018 Film Festival Indonesia and Best Cinematography at the 2018 Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

The following Icarus trailer for "Marlina" clearly shows the Tarantino and classic Western influences on this must-see film.

The titular felon is a relatively recent widow living in relative isolation on her farm; as is typical for good storytelling, the extent of her woes is revealed throughout the film.

The nightmare begins within the first moments of "Marlina." Bad hombre Markus shows at her door and immediately plays cat-and-mouse. The horrible truth is soon shared when the interloper matter-of-factly tells his hostess that his gang is on their way to steal all of her livestock and to rape her if they have time after that theft. He adds insult to those imminent injuries by ordering her to start cooking dinner for the group.

As the film title indicates, things do not go as planned. This leads to the second act that centers around Marlina taking the long journey to the nearest town to report the crimes and her response with extreme prejudice. This trip involves both "persuading" a bus driver to co-operate and an overdue pregnant woman with her own man troubles to join the crusade. 

The response of the police is true to factual and fictional patterns; any viewer with a soul will want to smash the typewriter of the cop who takes the statement of Marlina over his head. 

The long arm of the law coming up short leads to showing that you sometimes must send a woman to do the job of a man. The even more sad truth as to this is that it demonstrates the limited extent to which the phrase "you've come a long way, Baby" applies. 

All of this leads to a climax that brings the action back full circle to the beginning of the film; the sad messages as to this are that things never change and that you often much take matters into your own hands.

The bonus features include behind-the-scenes coverage and an interview with Surya.

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