Film production with a minimalist setting approach seems to be a trend now. It could be that the pandemic is the cause. Trying the same method, Rising Wolf freshly combines it with elements of thriller and fantasy. Rising Wolf or Ascendant is an Australian fantasy thriller film directed by Antaine Furlong. This film stars local actors Charlotte Best, Susan Prior, George Burgess, and Jonny Pasvolsky.

Aria Wolf (Best) wakes up and finds herself trapped in an elevator in a 160-story high rise building in Shanghai, China. There is no way out; even the elevator can fall and stop as if someone is controlling it. The screen on the elevator wall suddenly came to life, showing Richard, the father, who was being held captive. His father, who turns out to be an agent, is being interrogated forcibly to hand over classified information.

The premise has to be admittedly exciting, and since the opening, it continues to provoke curiosity. Story information, little by little, is being revealed, with absurd flashbacks that are sometimes confusing. Two girls (little Aria and her sister) seem to break down material and make it solid again. What does this mean? The minimal explanation makes the curiosity even more. Flashbacks between the past and the father’s torture, Aria’s attempt to get out of the elevator, are alternately presented. So what’s the relation? As viewers, we expected a satisfactory explanation between the two segments, but it is not.

One thing that had been bothering me from the start was why Aria was in the elevator? Now let’s put aside the fantasy side of the film; let’s talk about crime first. The father was tortured in such a way by a group of people (Russia) to give secret information about someone’s whereabouts. The engineer said so. Then, why bother keeping Aria in the elevator? Just torture Aria in front of Richard directly, guaranteed that the father will open his mouth. Isn’t that enough? Cheap and effective! In the end, we do know why, of course, because of the fantasy side that will be a surprise later. But the elevator scenario was too pushy. Then, sorry, this smells a bit spoiler; why did the boss finally can getting out alive? Then one more thing, if the father knew all along with his daughter’s abilities, why didn’t he do it from the start? This is ridiculous.

Baca Juga  The Tides

Rising Wolf has a unique genre, premise, story, and setting approach, but the plot is a bit forced and cannot clearly describe the background motive for the story. Yes, we know precisely where the film is going, but it’s all nothing with a plot that doesn’t make sense like this. Without having a fantasy side, though, it is actually enough to make a classy thriller. The filmmaker seemed ambitious but was unable to process the script skillfully. Environmental messages and missions about humanity are becoming too much.

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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 montasefilm.com 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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