Time to Hunt adalah film thriller kriminal produksi Korea Selatan garapan Yoon Sun-hyun. Film ini dirilis oleh Netflix beberapa hari yang lalu. Film ini dibintangi oleh Lee Je-hoon, Ahn Jae Hong, Choi Woo-shik, serta Park Hae-soo. Film ini memulai rilisnya secara istimewa di 70th Berlin Internasional Film Festival yang merupakan debut pertama film Korea Selatan di ajang ini. Kita tahu posisi sinema Korea Selatan saat ini, Time to Hunt masih ada di jalur yang benar, setidaknya secara teknis.

Filmnya berlatar pada masa distopia di mana Korea Selatan digambarkan telah hancur ekonominya karena mata uang mereka jatuh. Kemiskinan dan kriminal pun merajalela. Jun, yang baru saja keluar dari penjara kaget dengan realita yang terjadi. Lelah dengan situasinya sekarang, Jun pun lalu mengajak dua sahabatnya untuk melakukan perampokan di sebuah bandar judi besar di kota. One last heist. Dua rekannya dengan berat hati, akhirnya menyetujui, namun bukan perampokan yang menjadi masalah buat mereka tapi adalah apa yang menanti setelahnya.

Kisahnya sejak awal memang sudah menjanjikan sesuatu yang menarik. Didukung setting kota yang luar biasa sempurna untuk kisahnya serta kematangan teknis dari semua pengadeganannnya. Kamera, lighting, editing, semuanya, tak ada cacat sedikit pun dari sisi ini. Adegan-adegan aksinya, sungguh luar biasa, dan lagi-lagi setting yang demikian hebat menjadi saksi kepiawaian sang sineas dalam mengemas adegan aksinya. Satu adegan aksi di lantai parkir basement serta di rumah sakit, disajikan demikian intens dan menegangkan. Nyaris sempurna dan jauh di atas film-film pesaingnya yang diproduksi jauh di seberang sana.

Namun, sayangnya ritme ketegangan yang sudah dibangun demikian baik, justru dihancurkan sendiri oleh naskahnya. Dialog-dialog sentimentil seringkali disajikan terlalu berlebihan sehingga mematikan tensi ketegangannya. Saya sampai gemas menonton ketika tokoh-tokohnya mengabaikan urgensi situasi yang tengah terjadi. Sang pembunuh jelas-jelas sangat profesional dan mereka bukan tandingannya. Sang pembunuh bagai kucing yang memburu tikus-tikus amatiran yang dengan mudahnya ia permainkan. Agak janggal juga, buat apa si pembunuh melakukan itu semua? Membuang waktu dan tenaga, dan tak ada keuntungan materi, selain hanya kepuasan batin. Setidaknya, ada sedikit argumen kecil untuk menjelaskan ini.

Dengan pencapaian teknis yang sangat matang, Time to Hunt dikecewakan sisi sentimental berlebihan yang justru menghancurkan ritme ketegangan aksinya. Perasaan campur aduk ketika menonton film ini, satu hal disajikan begitu istimewa, namun di sisi lain begitu mengecewakan. Gaya film produksi Korea Selatan memang seringkali seperti ini dengan mengedepankan sisi dramatik yang dikemas untuk menguras emosi penonton. Adegan drama menyentuh bisa disajikan dalam momen yang singkat tanpa perlu banyak latar cerita. Bisa jadi ini kekuatan, bisa jadi pula kelemahan. Bukankah disayangkan jika superioritas teknis yang disajikan harus dilukai oleh adegan-adegan ala “sinetron” yang sama sekali tak perlu. Buat apa bicara soal “value” jika sejak awal sudah melakukan sesuatu yang salah.

Stay safe and Healthy!

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Time to Hunt is a South Korean crime thriller filmed by Yoon Sun-hyun. This film was released by Netflix just a few days ago. The film stars Lee Je-hoon, Ahn Jae Hong, Choi Woo-shik, and Park Hae-soo. The film began its special release at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival which was the first debut of a South Korean film at this event. We know the position of South Korean cinema today, Time to Hunt is still on the right track, at least technically.

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The film is set in a period of dystopia in which South Korea is described as having collapsed its economy because their currencies have fallen. Poverty and crime are rampant. Jun, who just got out of prison, was shocked by the reality of his country. Tired with his situation, Jun then asked two of his friends to do a robbery at an underground casino in the city. One last heist. They finally agreed, but it was not the robbery that was a problem for them but was what awaited afterwards.

The story from the beginning had indeed promised something interesting, supported by the extraordinary city setting, which is perfect for the story and with all technical superiority. Cameras, lighting, editing, everything is perfect. The action scenes were exceptional, genuinely extraordinary, and again such a great setting bears witness to the filmmaker’s expertise in making the action scenes. One action scene on the basement parking floor as well as in the hospital was presented so intensely and tense. Almost perfect and far above the competitor’s films produced far across overseas.

However, unfortunately, the rhythm of tension that has been built so well; the script itself destroyed it. Sentimental dialogues are often presented too much to turn off tension. I got frustrated watching when the characters ignore the urgency of the situation that is happening. The killer is very professional, and they are no match for him. The killer is like a cat chasing rats that easy to play with. It’s a bit odd, why would the killer do it all? Waste of time and energy, and no extra money, other than just inner satisfaction. At least, there are a few small arguments to explain this.

With a very mature technical achievement, Time to Hunt was let down by the excessive sentimental side, which destroyed the rhythm of the action tension. One thing is presented so specially, but on the other hand, it is so disappointing. The style of South Korean film production is indeed often like this, selling a dramatic scene to drain the emotions of the audience. A touching drama moment can be presented in a short time without needing a lot of background story. It could be a strength or could also be a weakness. It is unfortunate; fantastic action scenes with all technical superiority let down by “soap operas” which are entirely unnecessary. Why talk about “value” if you did something wrong from the start.

Stay safe and Healthy!

PENILAIAN KAMI
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Artikel BerikutnyaTo the Stars
A lifelong cinephile, he cultivated a deep interest in film from a young age. Following his architectural studies, he embarked on an independent exploration of film theory and history. His passion for cinema manifested in 2006 when he began writing articles and film reviews. This extensive experience subsequently led him to a teaching position at the esteemed Television and Film Academy in Yogyakarta. From 2003 to 2019, he enriched the minds of students by instructing them in Film History, Introduction to Film Art, and Film Theory. His scholarly pursuits extended beyond the classroom. In 2008, he published his seminal work, "Understanding Film," which delves into the core elements of film, both narrative and cinematic. The book's enduring value is evidenced by its second edition, released in 2018, which has become a cornerstone reference for film and communication academics across Indonesia. His contributions extend beyond his own authorship. He actively participated in the compilation of the Montase Film Bulletin Compilation Book Volumes 1-3 and "30 Best Selling Indonesian Films 2012-2018." Further solidifying his expertise, he authored both "Horror Film Book: From Caligari to Hereditary" (2023) and "Indonesian Horror Film: Rising from the Grave" (2023). His passion for film extends to the present day. He continues to provide insightful critiques of contemporary films on montasefilm.com, while actively participating in film production endeavors with the Montase Film Community. His own short films have garnered critical acclaim at numerous festivals, both domestically and internationally. Recognizing his exceptional talent, the 2022 Indonesian Film Festival shortlisted his writing for Best Film Criticism (Top 15). His dedication to the field continues, as he currently serves as a practitioner-lecturer for Film Criticism and Film Theory courses at the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of the Arts' Independent Practitioner Program.

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