James Brown wrote : This is a man’s world…
But it wouldn’t be nothing, without a woman …

In MARLINA the Murderer in Four Acts, a vicious gang of men (with criminal intentions) come at Marlina’s door, but she manages to (literally) get rid of them for good. With still some faith left toward the local justice system, she sets course on finding the nearest police station carrying with her,  as evidence,  the severed head of the gang leader…

MARLINA the murderer in Four Acts was dubbed a feminist ‘Satay Western’, a clear reference to the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960’s. And director Mouly Surya’s film is a ravishingly shot absurdist tale that effectively plays like a Western. Cinematographer Yunus Pasolang makes great use of the breathtaking landscapes of the remote Sumba island, Indonesia, where the contemporary action takes place. Yudhi Arfani & Zekhe Khaseli’s enjoyable music (also Western like) brings the supplementary touch.

Surprisingly, Surya’s take on circumstantial killing is a concealed and quietly paced venture with restrain testosterone. The spectator acceptance to loose itself into its settings and mood can be highly rewarding. And the gore elements, short and technically effective, are never gratuitous. If you survived any Tarantino you shouldn’t be afraid of this one despite its strange theme… and some good make up F/X.

Lead actress Marsha Timothy’s face exudes such a fed up looking attitude, as someone used to local cruelty, she looks casual in peacefully carrying around a severed head. She is good.

Without going into social or political intrigues, the director cogitates on everyday violence that women face while perfectly using the codes of the guy films to do so, but she adds her own quiet signature with assured direction.

Strange as it is, MARLINA the Murderer in Four Acts is as beautifully crafted as it is unpretentious. And it works on its own level.


Last Festival Screening: Thursday October 12, 5:10PM – Cinéma du Parc 2