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Fantasia 2018 Review: “Buffalo Boys” (2018) ★★★★


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We know that there is no country that could make Western cinema better than the way Hollywood can. In fact, to beat them at their own game is utterly impossible. But after seeing the Indonesian “Buffalo Boys”, it looks like Hollywood is not the only one which can deliver at an epic scale.

Jamar and Suwo were away from their homeland ever since they were infants. After years of exile, they return to the land of Java taken over by the Dutch and lead by Van Trach, who forces every man in town to labour. There’s no end to killings and executions, but the brothers are determined to fight for justice, to save people from agony and avenge the death of their dear father Hamza, whose life was taken by the same Van Trach.

Arana is Hamza’s brother who had to take the children away from the country and raise them in the same fashion his brother would have done. As you watch Suwo and Jamar, you can see how well, kind and respectful men they turn out. Even though they were raised in California, it was Arana’s effort and the royal blood in their veins which prevented their soul from getting corrupt. As their desire to end the nightmare of their people increases day after day, Arana, Jamar and Suwo will enter into an unequal battle where the end can only have one possibility – bloodshed and claimed lives. All what they need to do is ensure it won’t be theirs. But with the number of men they have to face, it is easier said than done.

“Buffalo Boys” despite being extremely violent, is somehow enjoyable and an absolutely entertaining film to watch. The fighting scenes, choreography, scenery and cinematography are superb. Truly, what this film has accomplished is something one’s eyes can’t stop admiring. And as for direction, Mike Wilvan did an amazing job in his first feature film that by all means cannot be missed at all. Because it is simply that good and there should be no doubt about that.

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