Yadi Sugandi’s Red & White is as war-movie-by-numbers as one could imagine.
There is a whole platoon of war film clichés on parade in Yadi Sugandi’s Red & White. We get everything from the grizzled drill sergeant, a fat private suffering on the assault course and a rousing score. It is as war-movie-by-numbers as one could imagine. The Indonesian fight for independence post-World War II should make a fascinating story but unfortunately it isn’t told here.
Instead we get a 'Boy’s Own' adventure involving a ragtag militia with an upper-class bully, a middle-class peacemaker and a farmer with spirit taking on their imperial oppressors. A moonlit jungle battle boasts some great visuals, but the narrative offers little emotional investment. In the end it resorts to slow-motion violence, confirming its mediocrity.