Crazy Awesome Teachers Movie Review: An Enjoyable Lesson
The film is an example of how fine performances (Boris Bokir and Dian Sastrawardoyo are a hoot), and earnest writing can elevate even the most wafer-thin plots
There are many factors that can make or break the foreign film experience. Do the subtitles do justice? Do we understand the milieu of the film? Is the theme universal enough to impact us?
Any such doubts you may have about Crazy Awesome Teachers (Guru-Guru Gokil), the latest Indonesian film on Netflix, is dispelled soon as it begins with a voiceover by a man who expresses his two strongest feelings: He loves money, and hates teachers.
This is not exactly the kind of dichotomy we face in the everyday world, but in Taat Pribadi’s (a charmingly hilarious Gading Marten) world, these two factors determine every move of his.
Born to a strict father, who doubled as his language teacher, Taat wants nothing more than to leave his town and settle in the city.
However, as luck would have it, circumstances bring him back to his hometown, and he is forced to take up employment in his own school as a substitute teacher.
The stage is set for a clash of two worlds, but Crazy Awesome Teachers takes on a different trajectory altogether and becomes a comic caper about an eclectic mix of teachers and students taking on an extortion mafia to retrieve money that is rightfully theirs.
Both the setting of this film and the comedy that switches between slapstick and situational, feel relatable.
Although the proverbial twist in the tale is a revelation, it gets overshadowed by the outlandish climax, featuring an over-the-top villain.
The jokes are non-stop, a solid undercurrent of sentiment runs through, meet-cute romances are aplenty, and everything gets neatly wrapped up with a standard-issue personal triumph.
Crazy Awesome Teachers is an example of how fine performances (Boris Bokir and Dian Sastrawardoyo are a hoot), and earnest writing can elevate even the most wafer-thin plots.
It tells the simple story of simple people doing not-so-simple things to save their lives. At times, there is a sense of things being too simple and convenient.
However, as a dialogue goes in this film, “Seeing students make an effort is priceless...” While this classroom may not exactly be priceless, it offers reasonable value for your attendance.