Home Movies Reviews ‘Stealing Raden Saleh’ Netflix Movie Review - The (Real) Art and The (Fake) Artist

‘Stealing Raden Saleh’ Netflix Movie Review - The (Real) Art and The (Fake) Artist

The movie follows a master forger, who sets out to steal an invaluable painting with the help of a motley crew of specialists to save his father

Vikas Yadav - Thu, 05 Jan 2023 13:12:31 +0000 5424 Views
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Angga Dwimas Sasongko's Stealing Raden Saleh is a heist movie as well as an origin story. It's about a motley crew who steals Raden Saleh's The Arrest of Pangeran Diponegoro painting. It all begins with Piko (Iqbaal Dhiafakhri Ramadhan), who wants money (two billion, to be precise) to free his father from police captivity. Piko is an expert in forging paintings and makes money through this activity. One day, Permadi (Tio Pakusadewo), the ex-president and the main villain of the story, offers a job to Piko. He has to forge the mentioned Raden Saleh painting and also has to swap it with the original. In return, he will be provided with more than enough money to release his father from custody.

The rest of the story unfolds predictably. Piko assembles his gang, devises a plan, and executes the operation. The other members include Ucup (Angga Yunanda), Fella (Rachel Amanda), Gofar (Umay Shahab), Tuktuk (Ari Irham), and Piko's girlfriend, Sarah (Aghniny Haque). The police, as usual, prove to be determined yet incompetent. Here, we have Sita (Andrea Dian) fulfilling the requirement of being a cop who is always two steps behind the gang members.

Sasongko follows the heist movie clichés with ease and style. There is a sense of exhilaration in the scenes where Piko and his crew prepare for the heist. The highlight here is a poker game between Fella and Ucup. It's imbued with playful and flirtatious energy. The movie makes us believe in the group's talents. They know what they are doing and are strong enough to pick themselves up from a low point. When Piko explains The Arrest of Pangeran Diponegoro to Ucup, he comes across as a geek. He has the potential to become an artist or an art critic. But Piko is too busy becoming a thief. By the end, his gang will be given a name, and the movie promises they will return for a sequel.

This tendency to set itself up for future installments makes Stealing Raden Saleh feel half-finished. At first, a character who helps Sarah during a fight at a party appears like a lazy convenience. Sita, too, seems underwritten. After a while, I thought she was merely inserted in the film to fill the crowd. The threads concerning Piko's father and Permadi are left hanging in the air, and you think the movie has just rushed to the finish line. But a mid-credits scene informs us that all these points are merely setups for a potential sequel. You might label these things as "flaws" or swallow them down without trouble.

Stealing Raden Saleh is easy on the eyes and senses when it proceeds with lightness and liveliness. Sasongko has all the right skills to help him confidently recycle the wheel. The twists work, the story grabs your attention, and the experience is quite enjoyable. The movie only suffers when it becomes too serious. The sentimental scenes where characters are made to cry come across as awkward. Those moments fail to jell with the rest of the scenes, making them bumpy. When the heist initially goes wrong, and the characters panic, the mood for a while turns so gloomy that you think you have accidentally started watching a different film. Thankfully, Stealing Raden Saleh picks itself up from these rough patches and walks with zing.

Final Score- [7/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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