Dead Time: Kala

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Dead Time: Kala
Dead Time Kala.jpg
The Indonesian theatrical poster.
Directed by Joko Anwar
Produced by Dhamoo Punjabi
Manoj Punjabi
Written by Joko Anwar
Starring Fachry Albar
Ario Bayu
Music by Aghi Narottama
Zeke Khaselli
Cinematography Ipung Rachmat Syaiful
Edited by Wawan I. Wibowo
Distributed by MD Pictures
Release date
April 19, 2007
Running time
102 minutes
Country Indonesia
Language Indonesian
Budget US$600,000

Kala (Dead Time: Kala), or also known as (The Secret) is a 2007 Indonesian film noir thriller directed by Joko Anwar and starring Fachri Albar, Ario Bayu, Shanty and Fahrani. It was the second feature film for Joko, who previously directed the 2005 comedy film, Joni's Promise.


In an unnamed dystopian country, two cops, Eros (Ario Bayu) and Hendro Waluyo (August Melasz) investigate a case of five people being burned alive after a woman shouted them as thieves. Meanwhile, a down-on-luck narcoleptic journalist, Janus (Fachry Albar), is late to attend his divorce with Sari (Shanty). He searches the recent news and meets the widow of one of the burned victims, a pregnant woman named Ratih. Sneaking on her conversation with a nurse through a hidden tape recorder, Janus later watches as Ratih is hit by a bus outside the hospital and passes out from his narcolepsy, mysteriously waking up inside the hospital afterwards. Janus and his friend, Soebandi, hear from the tape a Javanese prose quoted by Ratih of something that is in "Bukit Bendonowongso, in front of Candi Tujuh Anak Tangga". When the two part ways, a pale white-skinned creature, Pindoro (Yose Rizal Manua) follows Soebandi and apparently beheads him. Janus is taken for questioning by Eros; after the latter leaves, fellow cop Bambang Sutrisno (Frans Tumbuan) threatens Janus to tell him the contents of the tape.

From the hospital records, Janus visits Ratih's house and learns from Ratih's neighbors that in the span of a week, Ratih, her husband, and her father, Ronggoweni, died. The only surviving family of Ratih is her sister, Ranti (Fahrani), who currently works as a lounge singer. Ranti warns Janus not to disclose the prose to anyone else; should he does so, either him or the person he tells to must die. Following the lounge's closing, Ranti is kidnapped, and when Janus tries to rescue her, he is captured too. Janus wakes up to the Minister of Arts, Heryo Wibowo (Arswendi Nasution), and is poured with gasoline to be immolated alive before his narcolepsy takes over. Eros visits the crime scene again, learning from a witness that the woman who shouted at the thieves is a relative of one of them, suggesting Ranti. He visits Ronggoweni's house and faces Pindoro, but the latter does not harm him. Later, Eros and Hendro discuss over the collapsing state of their nation, with Hendro reciting a hopeful prophecy that soon, the "King of Justice" will arrive to stabilize her. Hendro also tells Eros that Ranti is from the family of an aide of the First President. Eros confirms this by visiting the library, in which he finds a photo of Ronggoweni's inauguration and the search for the treasure of the First President.

Janus wakes up in his imprisonment room, alone and unscathed, and meets Sari. She apologizes and the two reconcile. Sari, upon being told the prose, says that she knows where the treasure is located. However, their reconciliation is a ruse, as Sari immediately calls Heryo. The two meet outside the city where Heryo shoots Sari after she has told him the treasure's location. Heryo is then chased by Pindoro until he is beheaded. Janus, depressed when he learns of Sari's death, moves out the city to commit suicide, but Pindoro catches him at the last second and brings him to safety. He is then captured by a group led by Bambang and a minister. Eros and Hendro, meanwhile, find Ranti during their search for the treasure's location who tells them that her father had been forced by his son-in-law to disclose the treasure; true to the taboo, he committed suicide and his daughter and son-in-law followed him soon afterward. What they did not know is that one more person (Janus) had also learned about the treasure. At the library, a book informed them that the treasure was bestowed to the kings of Nusantara for uniting the country, and the First President, knowing of the fighting the treasure would inflict, ordered nine of his aide to hide it. Pindoro is a supernatural creature tasked to protect the treasure, but as he is intangible he never committed the murders, meaning that a mortal did them. Shortly after, Pindoro suddenly appears and takes Ranti with him.

Hendro recites the prophecy again, attested since the time of Jayabaya, which reveals that "when the republic turned half a century, fighting for the treasure shall ignite, and a sleeper shall become the keeper of the secret of the treasure"; Janus is in fact the "sleeper". He, while being imprisoned in a bus, tells everyone present of the secret. Shortly thereafter, Ranti appears and kills everyone save Janus, revealing herself as the mortal protector of the keeper, having taken the role from her father. Janus is taken to Bukit Bendonowongso, with Eros tailing Bambang, but Ranti appears and massacres nearly everyone present, including Bambang. Just when Eros decides to let himself die rather than Janus, Ranti and Pindoro kneel before him, revealing him as the "King of Justice". The film ends with silhouettes of the four leaving Bukit Bendonowongso, while Hendro recites the final part of the prophecy: "The sleeper shall disclose the secret with the king, the leader who shall take the country to prosperity. They and their protector shall meet near the hill, but their meeting is not an easy task, for evils shall unite to hinder them."


  • August Melasz as Hendro Waluyo
  • Fachry Albar as Janus
  • Ario Bayu as Eros
  • Fahrani as Ranti
  • Arswendi Nasution as Haryo Wibowo
  • Tipi Jabrik as Bandi
  • Yose Rizal Manua as Pindoro
  • Shanty as Sari
  • Sujiwo Tejo as Ronggoweni - old
  • Frans Tumbuan as Bambang Sutrisno



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