Friday, February 02, 2007

One Lesson in Twenty Years

Late last night, I saw a single scene of an old flick that summarizes Indonesian film in the 80's.

The scene covers the inside of a house. A big and ugly guy tried to rape a supposedly-pretty girl. Our protagonist opened the front door. It took him about two seconds to realize:
a) This was his house.
b) The girl was his wife.
c) The big and ugly guy was not him.
d) What words to say when you have to stop a rapist without cursing.

He darted to the ugly guy. "Hey!" he shouted, while throwing the guy to the floor. He pummeled the ugly guy effortlessly, with sound effects that pop a bit late.

A loud knock on the door interrupted their fight. Being a courteous host, the protagonist left the antagonist lying on the floor, and opened the door. The antagonist cooperated by occasionally moaning.

A bunch of policemen gathered on the front perch, apparently forgot that they should've appeared AFTER being summoned. The protagonist let them in without words. Because, apparently, the policemen weren't the only ones forgetting their lines.

The captain greeted the protagonist and asked, "Mr. Agus?" He did that in the tone of a teacher addresing the class.

The ugly guy suddenly stopped moaning and raised his arm. "That's me, Sir." The police nodded and handcuffed the ugly guy.

And this wasn't a comedy flick. Now, after twenty years, this particular scene would've been done like this;

A handsome guy tried to rape a beautiful woman who looked innocent and pure (aside from the overuse of makeup). Before actually doing anything, the guy would spout off lines about how he was going to do her, how she was going to be him forever, and nobody could stop it. The woman would comment on every lines with highly-observational remarks such as, "You're going to rape me?" "How could you?" "Why would you?"

This would take about fifteen minutes. And since this would be a TV drama, played on primetime where children would also be watching, the dialogs had to include cursing. Added with a commercial break.

After the break, we would see the protagonist realizing something: the episode had gone fifteen minutes without him in it. He had to do something! So he ran. He overdid everything. Even crossing a lone street looked as if the roads were infested with landmines. If the protagonist was a muscular guy, a car would crash him. Bleeding and bruised, he would continue walking toward the next scene.

He broke into the house. The antagonist would turn angry, "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

The protagonist would be even angrier, "Stay away from her!" The woman would make silly attempts at expressing both fear and joy by raising and lowering her eyebrows. The antagonist and protagonist then exchanged death stares, accompanied by overdramatic music.

This would take fifteen minutes.

And that's the end of this episode. The final screen freezed and the credits rolled. This would also take fifteen minutes.

Twenty years, from the 1980's to the 2000's, for a simple lesson: It would only take one second--to turn the damn TV off.