Opera Jawa review

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Based on a folk opera inspired by one of the Hindu myths of Ramayana, this Indonesian art film takes a simple love triangle and fuses it into a tapestry of images, music and movement. Some may choke on the dense layering of avant-garde abstraction, dance and melodrama, but director Garin Nugroho pulls off some impressively bold effects. Check out the extravagant sequence where a businessman lays a red silk carpet at the doorstep of the married woman he means to seduce, then spreads it across fields as a pathway to his bed. A crash course in Javanese symbolism is advised before viewing, but few current movies can boast a more of breath-stopping images.

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