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Indonesia 2008
produced by
Parama Wirasmo, Tia Hasibuan, Sapto Soetarjo, Alex Zawardo (executive) for Cinesurya
directed by Mouly Surya
starring Ladya Cheryll, Doni Alasyah, Kinaryosih, Inong, Rina Hasyim, Egy Fedly, Soultan Saladin, José Rizal Manua, Aty Cancer
story by Mouly Surya, screenplay by Joko Anwar, music by Zeke Khaseli

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mai (Ladya Cheryll), the daughter of a rich but always absent father (who drove her mother to suicide many years back) is living in a guilded cage, where dad's maid and driver look after her day and night and ultimately grant her not one bit of freedom. Eventually, she falls in love with Bari (Doni Alamsyah), a delivery boy she only watches from afar (and who has no idea about her existence), and eventually, she finds out where he lives, gives her guardians the slip, and moves into the appartment next to his in a rundown building.

Upon actually meeting for the first time, Bari and Mai hit it off pretty much right away, and she learns that he's actually a writer, writing about the many freaks and outcasts living in the building, from transvestites to homosexuals, and everything in between. Mai soon becomes fascinated with Bari's novel and wants to become a part of it, as much as she wants to be with him ...

There's just one problem with Bari, actually, and that's his girlfriend Renta (Kinaryosih). In a weak moment, Mai however manages to seduce Bari, and actually gives up her virginity to him, but afterwards, he is overcome by guilt and doesn't want to have anything more to do with her - upon which she goes simply mental, killing some cats and an old man out of frustration and terrorizing Bari by placing her bloodied sheet from their night together on his doorstep and whatnot. Ultimately she even tells Renta of their affair, effectively breaking the couple up ... but that doesn't mean Bari comes running to Mai, quite the opposite.

Ultimately, Mai attacks Renta and ties her up in one of the abandoned rooms in the attic of the building, and Bari tries to get Renta's whereabouts out of Mai in vain ... until he remembers that she follows the novel he is writing and is able to save Renta. Mai meanwhile feels she has lost, and she takes her own life by leaping off the building.

The end sees Bari and Renta reunited, with his book Fiksi (= fiction) having become a bestseller. But how much of the story we just saw was actually real, how much is (his) fiction?


Interesting thriller with an exciting plot that's carried by a competent cast and an elegant directorial effort. The film suffers slightly by its pacing that's a bit too slow to create the tension and suspense the film would have deserved, but even as it is, Fiksi most certainly ranks among the best Indonesian psychothrillers there are ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD