The three stories of desperate, alienated, and lonesome Jakartans are intertwined by Lucky Kuswandi‘s writing and directing. Feels very close to home for real Jakartans, In The Absence of the Sun / Selamat Pagi, Malam is also an exotic journey to the city’s scarred souls for outsiders. In the tradition of Lost in Translation, the movie renders the problematic yet ambitious Jakarta through the characters involved.
I could acknowledge the alienation felt by Gia, or address the desperation of Indri, even recognize the longing and deep loss experienced by Ci Surya. They are three little mice in a labyrinth with no clear escape. They might not even know what they are running for. All of them are merely struggling to survive one particular night in Jakarta – a city that can be too absurd for them.
I enjoyed the presentation. I enjoyed the performance of all the cast involved, especially Dayu Wijanto as Ci Surya. I enjoyed the visuals, the music, the overall atmosphere. Everything is well-composed as a strong art house movie. I must admit that I did not go out of the movie carrying anything personal for me, but overall it is a fine portrayal of Jakarta, and definitely a meticulously made movie.