Joni's Promise (Janji Joni)

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Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Joni (Nicholas Saputra) is obsessed with film, and he's not the only one, as he points out in a pre-credit sequence, in which we hear various Jakarta residents comparing their own lives to the movies that they love. Joni has made the movies his life, even if it's just as a delivery man, using his motorbike to bring film reels from one theater in the city to the next, so that the canny exhibitors can save money on prints. Joni prides himself on always getting to his destination in time for the reel changes, so the screenings aren't interrupted. He knows every type of filmgoer, and gives us a rundown. One day, he sees a beautiful young woman (Mariana Renata) entering the theater with her arrogant film-snob date, Otto (Surya Saputra). Joni is immediately smitten, and when he has an opportunity, gets up the nerve to speak to her. She propositions him. If he gets the second half of the film she's seeing to the theater in time for the reel change, she'll tell him her name. Joni happily agrees, but the entire city seems to conspire against him on this day. First, he stops to help a blind man cross the road, and his bike is stolen. That's just the beginning of his troubles, as he's forced to chase down thieves, help a woman give birth, and even audition for a rock band, all in an effort to do his job, and speak to a pretty girl, who may or may not have a boyfriend. Janji Joni marks the feature debut of writer/director Joko Anwar. It features a cameo (as a movie critic) by producer Nia Di Nata, the writer/director of Arisan! The film had its U.S. premiere at the 2005 Asian American International Film Festival. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi


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