1 Feb 2020

Gundala [2019] [Asia] [Indonesia] [Plot & Sinopsis]

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General Info:
Gundala [2019] [Asia] [Indonesia] [Plot & Sinopsis]
Gundala is a 2019 Indonesian superhero film based on the comics character Gundala created by Harya “Hasmi” Suraminata in 1969, co-produced by Screenplay Films and BumiLangit Studios, and distributed by Legacy Pictures. It is the first installment in the BumiLangit Cinematic Universe (BCU). The film is directed and written by Joko Anwar, and stars Abimana Aryasatya as Sancaka / Gundala, alongside Tara Basro, Bront Palarae, Ario Bayu, Cecep Arif Rahman, Rio Dewanto, and Muzakki Ramdhan. The first official news about the film was announced on April 4, 2018 on social media accounts of its director and production houses. At Indonesia Comic Con on October 28, 2018, a press conference was held to introduce the main casts and the first look video of the film with a release date set around mid 2019. Filming has been done in September throughout October 2018. Gundala had its local premiere on August 28, 2019, and released in Indonesia on August 29, 2019. It had its International premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2019. The film received positive reviews from audience and critics with praise for Abimana's performance, Anwar's direction, visual effects, costume design and originality.

Plot and Sinopsis:

"In Indonesia where corruption and income inequality are even more rampant than in its real-life counterpart, Sancaka is the son of a Javanese impoverished factory worker struggling to make ends meet. The young Sancaka shows signs of brilliance in tinkering with electrical products but is terrified by lightning and thunder. Sancaka's father leads his fellow factory workers in a protest against the factory owners, demanding a raise. The group is met with armed guards hired by the owners and turns violent. In the second protest, Sancaka's father is betrayed and stabbed by his colleagues who have been bribed by the factory owners and dies in Sancaka's arms. In a rage, Sancaka inexplicably shatters multiple riot shields with lightning, then falls unconscious. One year later, Sancaka's mother leaves to another city to find work, promising to return the next day, but never returning.

This turn of events leaves Sancaka turning down food given by the traitor's wife and ultimately wandering alone on the streets of Jakarta, living off busking and fending off street bullies and thugs until he is saved by Awang, an older street kid. Sancaka lives with Awang for a period of time, being trained by Awang to defend himself and to not intervene with other people's business if he wants to stay alive on the streets. The pair plan to depart Southeast by freighthopping. When the train arrives, Awang manages to leap onto it, but Sancaka is unable to catch up, being left alone once again.

Many years later, the now-adult Sancaka works as a security guard and part-time mechanic in a printing factory. The majority of the country's corrupt legislature is being controlled by the ruthless, physically deformed crime boss Pengkor, who commands an army of orphans who have been raised as assassins. Pengkor was severely burnt by the fire that killed his parents and was sent by his uncle to an abusive orphanage, where the staff subjected the orphans to water torture. The orphans, led by Pengkor, rose up and murdered the staff. Pengkor is met with resistance by legislator Ridwan Bahri.

Pengkor plots to poison the nation's massive rice supply with a serum that targets pregnant women, affecting the fetuses' brains, making them unable to differentiate good and bad. Pengkor arranges for the act of poisoning to be video-recorded and released through the media. This causes mass hysteria among the people, demanding the legislative members to release an untested antidote formulated by a pharmaceutical company to the public. The debate splits the legislative into two factions: one is led by Bahri and his 'Rumah Perdamaian' colleagues who want to pass a bill to distribute the antidote en masse and the other is controlled by Pengkor and his allies, who are against distributing it.

One day, Sancaka helps his neighbour Wulan fend off some thugs who are harassing her. The thugs retaliate by attacking him at night after his shift at the factory and appear to have killed him after tossing him off the roof. Instead, a bolt of lightning strikes his unconscious body, reviving Sancaka and awakening his superhuman powers. Wulan leads a group of insurgent market vendors against the harassing thugs. After an impressive display of his powers against some of the thugs, Wulan implores Sancaka to join her group to defend the market, but Sancaka refuses, not yet convinced that he is the hero that they needed. The thugs retaliate by burning down the market. Seeing the misery and hopelessness of the market vendors convinces Sancaka to rise up to defend them. With the help of Wulan, Teddy (Wulan's little brother), and Pak Agung (Sancaka's fellow security guard), Sancaka learns to control his powers and creates a makeshift costume to harness the lightning powers inside him. With that, Sancaka starts fighting and defeating the thugs, inspiring the people as a symbol of hope to rise up and stand together to defend themselves from the thugs' attacks.

One of the thugs defects and informs Sancaka and Wulan that they have witnessed famous violinist Adi Sulaiman in the market the night of the burning, suspecting him as the one who started the fire. Sancaka approaches Sulaiman to demand the reason why he burned down the market, but the seemingly weak Sulaiman turns hysterically violent and attacks Sancaka with his violin bow, revealing himself to be one of Pengkor's orphan assassins. While evading Sancaka's attacks, Sulaiman is struck and killed by a passing bus.

Sancaka's heroics and Sulaiman death alerts Pengkor and his associate. Pengkor unleashes his orphan assassins who turn out to be sleeper agents in many positions across the nation, including the hysterical Desti Nikita, the supermodel Mutiara Jenar, the doctor Cantika, the strongman Tanto Ginanjar, the powerful hypnotist Kamal, and the traditional dancer Swara Batin, among others. The assassins manage to kill a number of Rumah Perdamaian members, but when Swara Batin attacks Ridwan, Sancaka appears and defeats him.

The legislature passes the bill on the antidote, much to the delight of the people. However, test results from Rumah Perdamaian's lab reach Bahri and he is shocked to discover that Pengkor has been setting them up all along. The serum was non-lethal; it was the antidote that is poisonous, with the pharmaceutical company revealed to be owned by one of Pengkor's shell companies. Bahri tried to reach Sancaka to ask him to stop the distribution, but Pengkor and his assassins attack Sancaka in the factory before he manages to do so.

The battle with the assassins reaches the rooftop of the factory, where Pengkor seizes Pak Agung, Wulan, and Teddy with the intent of killing them in front of Sancaka, who is hypnotized by Kamal. Wulan's cries snaps Sancaka out of the hypnotism, and he manages to unleash his lightning powers from within, defeating most of the assassins, saving Wulan and Teddy. However, Pak Agung is stabbed by one of the assassins. As Pengkor is about to strike Sancaka from behind, Bahri arrives and shoots Pengkor. With his dying breath, the deviant Pengkor declares that he was the only one who managed to unite the people and the legislative.

Sancaka rushes to stop the distribution of the antidote. Sancaka catches up up with the distribution convoy and tried to stop them but is shot by one of the drivers. The convoy is supernaturally stopped by a mysterious woman, and while holding the bottles of the antidote, Sancaka uses his lightning powers to break all the antidote bottles in the city.

Meanwhile, Pengkor’s partner breaks open an ancient tomb buried inside the walls of the city's museum and the seal of a container containing an old severed head using the blood of Sancaka he took earlier from one of the fights. He combines the body and the head, resurrecting Ki Wilawuk, a powerful evil from ancient times. The assistant reveals himself as Ghazul and told Ki Wilawuk of Sancaka, calling him 'Gundala' (lit. 'Thunder' in ancient Javanese). Ki Wilawuk orders Ghazul to gather his army, for a great war is coming.

In a mid-credits scene, Gundala meets Bahri on a rooftop and thanked him for an upgraded, more advanced costume, to which Bahri said that the new costume is 'from the people'. From afar, the mysterious woman who stopped the convoy earlier observed them, and is revealed to be the superhero Sri Asih."

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