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A question that often pops up when people talk about “Jakarta Undercover” and its adaptations is: Is Jakarta’s nightlife really that wild? “It should be noted that this film is a reflection of life as it was in the early 2000s,” Oka Antara points out, “but it’s not actually set in that time period.” Still, a meticulously detailed depiction of this aspect of life in the capital is something quite novel. That’s exactly what drew Antara to the film.
“My reason to join the cast might sound a bit selfish, but I’ve always wanted to try out new challenges,” he reveals. “Not just in terms of theme or character, but movies with a whole different tone.” He then points out how his recent works, like the religious-themed “Mencari Hilal” and the action-packed “The Raid 2,” contrast sharply with the twist-laden “Jakarta Undercover.” “I don’t want to be pigeonholed into one genre,” he states.
Acting as Pras, the reporter who would go on to write the titular story, Antara finds himself playing a familiar role, that of a journalist, but in an entirely new tone and ambience. Or as he puts it, “a gray protagonist.” And this is perhaps the best description of “Moammar Emka’s Jakarta Undercover:” A representation of reality, one that is never perfectly black and white, but full of gray characters trying their best to survive in their own corner of the city.
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