Madame X

Madame X image
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 @ 6:30pm
Indonesia, 2010 (104 min)
Indonesian with English subtitles

Director: Lucky Kuswandi
Screenplay: Agasyah Karim, Khalid Kashogi, Kuswandi, based on a character created by Amink
Cast: Amink, Marcell Siahaan, Shanty, Titi DJ, Sarah Sechan, Vincent Rompies, Fitri Tropica, Joko Anwar, Ria Irawan, Robby Tumewu, Saira Zihan, Ikhsan Khimawan, Marcell

Fabulous is the only word to describe “Madame X,” a candy-colored, fast-paced tale of a pre-op transsexual superhero from Indonesia who fights intolerance. After a prologue and an animated title sequence clearly inspired by 007, the pic proper kicks off on the birthday of epicene hairdresser Adam (mono-monikered entertainer Amink), who’s best friends with his zaftig colleague, Aline (filmmaker Joko Anwar). Things go haywire when the gay disco where Adam and Aline are celebrating is raided by the black-clad members of Bogem, a league of moral order run by a man who looks suspiciously like the (fictitious) National Morality Front politician Mr. Storm (singer Marcell).

Though not directly credited for the screenplay, which was inspired by a character created by Amink and written by the helmer with Agasyah Karim and Khalid Kashogi, the fingerprints of producer and occasional helmer Nia Dinata (“A Courtesan,” “Love for Share”) are all over this production, from its appropriation of popular mainstream formats in service of a strong pro-minority, pro-LGBT message to its use of humor to tackle wider sociopolitical issues and its careful attention to local details, such as the slang used in the dialogue or the clever sendup of the dual lives of contempo Indonesian celebrities. Boyd van Hoeij – Variety

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