Sang Pemimpi (The Dreamer)

“Without dreams and hopes, people like us will die, Kal.”

This line from Sang Pemimpi (The Dreamers), sums up the idea at the very core of the film.

During my short escape to bandung last week for 4 days, I watched “Sang Pemimpi“, just recently launched on 17 Dec 2009. Sang Pemimpi  is an Indonesian film adapted from the best-selling Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Troops) tetralogy novel by Andrea Hirata. Sang Pemimpi is the second title of four, the first being Laskar Pelangi, also adapted to a film that made a record of 4.2mn viewers.

Producer Mira Lesmana and director Riri Riza, the duo who founded the production company Miles Films that produced Laskar Pelangi – are working together on the sequel titled Sang Pemimpi

While Laskar Pelangi tells us about the beauty of struggle in schooling of Rainbow Troops in an small island of Belitong, on the coast of Sumatera, Sang Pemimpi recounts the tale of three teenagers who sacrifice blood, sweat and tears for making their dreams come true.

The story starts with Ikal, the little boy whose adventures deliver new meaning to his hometown in Belitung, to rediscover itself as a beautiful island rather than as one Indonesia’s major tin producers. But rather than sharing the story of growing pains with his old gang, in Sang Pemimpi, Ikal moves on with a new troop, Arai and Jimbron, whose lives, also, are controversial for children of their age.

Arai, Ikal’s cousin, sees the world through rose-colored glasses. He was sent to live with Ikal after the death of his father. Jimbron also is an orphan who developed a stutter after his father died in his arms. Raised by a priest, Jimbron, who admires horses as his muses, reads the Koran and performs the five daily prayers at the mosque.

These three musketeers take part in youthful escapades and tasks while studying at a pesantren (Islamic boarding school), hiding from their kyai (head of the school and spiritual leader) to watch Lone Ranger films, saving money by working in Manggar’s market and harbor to pay for their schooling, and “finding” snow in local groceries.

But in the film, we see how these small things can lead into bigger dreams in life. The fake snow made them promise to strive for a better education that will lead them to places where they can touch real snow. And their activities bind them together in the closeness of a deepening friendship, during the happiest and saddest moments. Their story follows them through their teen crises when they enter that golden yet bloody phase of their lives: high school.

The teenage life of Ikal, Arai  and Jimbron  begin at Manggar High School under the supervision of a young, highly determined and spirited teacher, Pak Julia Balia (Nugie). He infects his students with fresh ideas of pursuing their dreams to study at Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Although the question of “why the Sorbonne?” is never fully answered – although Paris appeared in Laskar Pelangi as a picture on a box owned by Ikal’s love interest – from that moment, Ikal, Arai and Jimbron’s dream of touching real snow crystallizes into that one destination, Paris.

In Pak Balia’s class, the three rascals continue their journey into adulthood through the wisdom they learn from inspirational people around the world. Pak Balia takes moments to utter his favorite lines such as, “Just scream out your words of spirit today” or “You need to know how words in themselves have such an incredible power” in a way reminiscent of the scene in Dead Poets Society when John Keating (Robin Williams) stands on his table and provokes his students by asking what verses they would like to have in their life.

Amid all these sweet little stories and surprises, Sang Pemimpi also offers plenty for viewers to feast their eyes on. There are beautiful shots of the island to enjoy (not to mention the expensive underwater scene) and the soundtrack comes from such well-known rock bands and singers as Gigi, Ungu and Bonita.

In the meantime, the question remains of whether Ikal, Arai and Jimbron will finally be able to realize their dream of touching the snow in Paris. The story of the efforts of these three ambitious dreamers and their growing pains is as touching as the first installment.

Given the beautifully heartbreaking and sometimes, funny plot, the excellent performance of the actors and the crew’s hardwork, Sang Pemimpi is not a movie that needs to hinge on another, as it is excellent. (Source: The Jakarta Post).

I personnaly recommend you to watch this movie. Light, touching, educating, sometimes funny and nostalgic. Three times better than the first film of sequel!


OST – Sang Pemimpi by Gigi