|Directed by||Gareth Evans|
|Produced by||Ario Sagantoro|
|Written by||Gareth Evans|
|Music by||Fajar Yuskemal
Dimas Imam Subhono
|Edited by||Gareth Evans|
|PT. Merantau Films|
|Distributed by||Magnet Releasing|
|Running time||135 minutes (Original Indonesian Version)
112 minutes (International Version)
Merantau is an Indonesian martial arts film released on August 6, 2009, directed and written by Gareth Evans, and starring Iko Uwais. It showcases a style of pencak silat known as Silek Harimau (Minang tiger silat) and a Minangkabau tradition known as merantau. Evans and Uwais later collaborated again for the Indonesian action film The Raid: Redemption (2011) and its sequel (2014).
The plot follows Yuda, a Minangkabau from West Sumatra and an expert in silat. As part of the merantau (journeying) tradition, he leaves his home to seek experience and success. He plans to teach silat to the children of Jakarta. On his bus journey, he meets Eric, a fellow exponent of the art. When he hears of Yuda's plan, Eric becomes sombre, and warns him that the city is quite different from what Yuda is used to, and also that it is difficult to make a living teaching the art. Yuda finds that the address where he was meant to stay has been torn down, so he becomes homeless. His wallet is stolen by a child named Adit. Chasing the thief, Yuda then encounters the thief's sister, Astri, quarrelling with her boss, Johnny. When Johnny begins abusing Astri, Yuda intervenes. Yuda saves Astri but instead of gratitude, he is rebuked because she had become jobless as a result. The next day, Yuda sees Astri once again being beaten by Johnny. He intervenes again only to be beaten at first by his thugs. He quickly recovers and saves Astri from Johnny, while saving her he brutally scars Johnny's boss, Ratger. Ratger's associate, Luc tries to calm down Ratger, but to no avail as Ratger decides to stay in the city to hunt down Astri and Yuda.
Yuda takes Astri and her brother, Adit to where he is staying in the city, a construction site. They talk and Yuda explains why he came to the city and talks about his older brother who used to always beat him up. Astri then explains how her parents abandoned her and Adit a few years ago, and how she has been taking care of them ever since. The next day Yuda, Astri, and Adit decide to retrieve their savings from their home in an apartment complex. Yuda leaves Astri and Adit to retrieve the money, but he is caught in the act by several thugs sent to guard the building. Yuda starts fighting the henchmen while trying to reach Astri and Adit.
Meanwhile Astri and Adit are seen by several guards as they are chased throughout the area. Astri helps Adit to hide as she is kidnapped by several henchmen. Yuda manages to defeat the attackers as he finds Adit. He promises Adit that he'll find his sister and tells him to hide as he sets off. Yuda returns to Johnny's club and quickly dispatches Johnny's henchmen. Johnny then gives the location of where to find Ratger, pointing to a nearby apartment building. Yuda makes his way into the apartment building as Ratger takes Astri upstairs to his room, telling a guard wait downstairs in case Yuda appears. Yuda enters the elevator and starts to ride upwards only for the elevator to stop and the guard to enter. Yuda realizes the guard is Eric, the man he met on the bus and Yuda tries to convince him he doesn't have to fight. Eric is ashamed of what he has become, but doesn't feel he has any way out, and they brutally fight in the elevator.
Ratger rapes Astri and takes her downstairs, leaving two guards to wait for the elevator. Meanwhile Yuda defeats Eric, but spares him saying that they are different. The elevator opens as the two guards point their guns towards the opening elevator doors. Eric redeems himself as he pushes Yuda to the side, away from the bullets, meanwhile he is killed by the barrage of bullets. Yuda then defeats the guards and chases after Ratger. He sees Ratger and Astri in a car as they pull out of the parking lot. Yuda hops onto one of the cars as they drive away. The cars end at a shipping dock where they put Astri in a storage container with other women. Ratger and Luc then notice Yuda approaching and send their henchmen to defeat him. Yuda defeats all of them as Ratger and Luc prepare to fight. The three fight in an epic showdown as Yuda holds his own against the two attackers. Luc and Ratger then gain the upper hand when they retrieve a crowbar and a metal pipe from the ground and begin attacking. Yuda eventually slams a container door onto Luc who had the sharp end of the crowbar pointed towards himself.
The impact of the door hitting Luc impales him on his own weapon as he slumps to the ground and dies. Luc's death throws Ratger into a rage as he viciously attacks Yuda, pinning him to a shipment container. Yuda then gains the upper hand and defeats Ratger, sparing him from a killing blow. Yuda then opens the container, freeing the women as they leave. As Yuda and Astri reunite Ratger attacks from behind, stabbing Yuda in the stomach. Yuda quickly finishes off Ratger as he collapses to the ground. After telling Astri his final wishes Astri leaves, returning to her brother's hiding place. Astri and Adit eventually go to the countryside and live with Yuda's family. The story then ends with Yuda's mother standing in the doorway of the home watching Adit go to school, her perspective changes as she sees Adit as her son Yuda.
- Iko Uwais as Yuda
- Sisca Jessica as Astri
- Christine Hakim as Wulan
- Mads Koudal as Ratger
- Yusuf Aulia as Adit
- Alex Abbad as Johni
- Yayan Ruhian as Eric
- Laurent Buson as Luc
- Donny Alamsyah as Yayan
The film also was known for showcasing the pancake themed fight in the diner.
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- Film School Rejects
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- Kurniasari, Triwik (2009-08-02). "`MERANTAU' revives Indonesia's martial arts in film". The Jakarta Post.
- "Merantau Warrior". Fortean Times. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- "Jury Winners & Audience Winner at FANTASTIC FEST 2009 Announced!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- Marsh, James. "News: UNDISPUTED 3, 14 BLADES and MERANTAU Win At ActionFest 2010. Chuck Norris Declines Lifetime Achievement Award!". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2011-07-06.