Interchange (2016)

Monday, December 05, 2016

Detektif Man (Shaheizy Sam) was investigating a series of gruesome murder. When shards of old glass photographic plates were found at the scenes, he decided to ask for help from Adam (Iedil Putra), his trusted forensic photographer. Both were plunged into the mysterious world of shamans and paranormal creatures as they ventured deeper into the case. 

Okay, I don't always go for local films but this one just pulled me into the cinema seat mainly because the director was Dain Iskandar Said - the same person who directed Bunohan. I love Bunohan so much that I didn't even think twice about going to see Interchange. I didn't read the synopsis, I didn't watch the trailer... I just went expecting nothing but artistic greatness. 

I was not disappointed. Interchange gave me the same feeling I got when I first watched Bunohan which was pure artistic ecstasy. 

Interchange was a mix of modern noir and old Borneo shamanism and taboo. Noir theme was confusingly intriguing enough but infused with paranormal themes, this film went on another level of fascinating. I might say that the mood and feel was sort of similar to Bunohan so if you adore Bunohan, you'd most probably like this one same as me.

What I love most about this movie is that almost every frame was artsy and beautiful. It's like, I was not really watching a movie. Instead, it seemed like a long slideshow of very well shot and edited photographs. 

The production value seemed high. I mean, the crime scenes itself were masterpieces. Human veins blending in with tree veins... gosh, they were projects of art. The make up and costumes were awesome too. 

Besides that, almost everything in this movie was indirect and subtle. A few times I had to tell myself to look for clues by literally looking at the bigger picture because they were not spoon fed. I felt that Dian Said treated audience as intelligent and challenged to be their own detectives to figure out what really was going on. I loved that very much. 

I loved Shaheizy Sam. He has been doing a good job in all of his films including this one. His portrayal as the assholish Detektif Man was spot on. In the dark and brooding world, Detektif Man provided a refreshing change of mood with his snarks and loyar buruk. "Potong stim betul lah!", said Detektif Man at a sauna house crime scene.

Besides Sam, Nicholas Saputra also did a splendid job in portraying the mysterious Belian. His mystical transformation looked eerily organic.

Actually, all casts did a great job but those two mentioned above were my favorites. Iedil Putra did adequately good as the anti-macho main character and Prisia Nasution provided ample queer attraction to her character, Iva.

Another thing I admired was that how Dian Said made this movie so Malaysian but not too obviously Malaysian. There were no shots of KLCC or KL Tower or other famous Malaysian landmarks. However, watching this movie, I just knew. I knew the place settings were in Malaysia. Those old chinese influenced buildings and shop lots.... Gosh, watching this movie made me crave for a walk through Jonker.

Furthermore, the diversity of races could be seen in this movie added to the Malaysian feel. Not to mention, the homey feel of Manglish. 

All in all, Interchange was an interesting indie felt, artistic movie with the theme of noir mixed with supernatural elements. The cinematography was artsy and beautiful and the cast members did an excellent job in portraying their characters especially Sam with Detektif Man. 

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