Meander (2020)
90 min|Drama, Horror, Mystery|09 Jul 2021
5.4Rating: 5.4 / 10 from 11,204 usersMetascore: 63
A woman finds herself locked in a series of strange tunnels full of deadly traps.

Meander is a French science fiction thriller film directed by Mathieu Turi. This unique film stars Gaia Weiss and Peter Franzen. Two years ago, the Spanish film The Platform (El Hoyo) created an amazing story and aesthetic approach. With a similar premise and concept, Meander tries to present it more simple and minimalist. How good is this film compared to similar movies?

An unfortunate incident happened to Lisa, and she woke up in a narrow room and a hallway somewhere. Realizing that she had to get out of there, Lisa found herself walking down aisles after alleys, each of which had a deadline before something deadly came. Lisa also finds herself trapped in the trauma of her past due to the tragic loss.

If this film was released before The Platform or a few years earlier, Meander could well be one of the best sci-fi of all time. We cannot see Meander literally in the narrative because there is nothing logical in the plot. Absurd, and there is no sufficient explanation of the background of the story. This could be because the film works at a different level of storytelling, much like the Platform. Talking about the plot, this film has many similar settings to The Cube, although this film has a different premise. For fans of horror/thriller/sci-fi, this film may only be read as a taut horror action film. The Meander has a layered meaning and may not be easy for ordinary viewers to read.

Meander is simply talking about a mother’s trauma after losing her daughter on a deeper level of meaning. This is similar to the concept of the story of the film Gravity. One span of the story is how the mother’s process until she was finally able to “move on” let go of her daughter. The mother, in one moment, intends to die after her daughter before she finally finds her life spirit again. Meander also has the same story concept, but it’s too shallow if it’s just this internal conflict.

Baca Juga  The Beast

Since the beginning of the film, there has been a slight flick of information that leads to the spiritual (religious) side. This film is talking about this in more depth, even further talking about the concept of reincarnation. A long process of how humans can meet the Creator and go to Heaven. The answer is with suffering after suffering tremendous, physical, mental, until finally there is no more fear in a human being. Birth, death, and rebirth, and so on. This film talks about all of this, but when compared to The Platform, Meander is palpable. The story is easy to read where it’s headed from the second half.

However, this anticipated heavy concept certainly does not reduce the film’s aesthetic value, which can package it through horror/thriller actions with unique settings and taut scenes. Many of the scenes are a race against time, guaranteed not to make us sit comfortably. Especially for those who are claustrophobic, it can be a horrifying experience. One more thing, the main factor of the strength of this film is the strong appearance of the actress, Gaia Weiss. The star is the only factor that makes the story look humane among the endless mechanical aisles. It was Weiss who brought this film to life.

Meander can perfectly present a heavy premise through a unique and classy aesthetic approach, as well as the star’s stunning appearance. Films with religious themes and concepts like this can be explored in many absurd ways. Masterpiece films with similar themes, for example, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, The Tree of Life, Gravity, including The Platform, have further enriched the repertoire of film mediums and genres. In certain moments of life, humans will question the existence of their lives and God. It could be that the film medium has, or hasn’t been able to, or will never answer it. However, these films have enough value and spirit to be the starting point of a search that may never end. Life is like a meandering river until one day it reaches the endless vast ocean.

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His hobby has been watching films since childhood, and he studied film theory and history autodidactically after graduating from architectural studies. He started writing articles and reviewing films in 2006. Due to his experience, the author was drawn to become a teaching staff at the private Television and Film Academy in Yogyakarta, where he taught Film History, Introduction to Film Art, and Film Theory from 2003 to 2019. His debut film book, "Understanding Film," was published in 2008, which divides film art into narrative and cinematic elements. The second edition of the book, "Understanding Film," was published in 2018. This book has become a favorite reference for film and communication academics throughout Indonesia. He was also involved in writing the Montase Film Bulletin Compilation Book Vol. 1-3 and "30 Best Selling Indonesian Films 2012-2018." Additionally, he authored the "Horror Film Book: From Caligari to Hereditary" (2023) and "Indonesian Horror Film: Rising from the Grave" (2023). Until now, he continues to write reviews of the latest films at and is actively involved in all film productions at the Montase Film Community. His short films have received high appreciation at many festivals, both local and international. Recently, his writing was included in the shortlist (top 15) of Best Film Criticism at the 2022 Indonesian Film Festival. From 2022 until now, he has also been a practitioner-lecturer for the Film Criticism and Film Theory courses at the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of the Arts in the Independent Practitioner Program.


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