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Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts:	Between Marsha And Marlina
Thursday, 07 December, 2017 | 13:24 WIB
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts: Between Marsha And Marlina

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - That was director Mouly Surya’s reply to Tempo when asked why she chose Marsha Timothy, an actress with an urban Jakarta background, to play Marlina, a village woman living on a hill in a remote Eastern Indonesian region.

But Mouly made the perfect choice. Marsha Timothy quickly transformed into Marlina, a widowed woman. When lonely, she sits beside her husband’s mummified corpse, conversing with it, complaining to it, embracing it.

Because she does not yet have the money for his funeral, Marlina tries to raise livestock. But one day, all her animals, which she collected with great effort, are taken away by seven robbers who attack her home at the top of a hill. Markus, the chief robber, calmly orders her to cook him chicken soup while telling her of his plan to then rape her.

Marlina must of course be smart in dealing with the pack of wolves.

In the end, all the thieves are killed. The next morning, she walks with a certain calm while carrying Markus’ head wrapped in rope, to report to the local police. 

In the film, Marsha Timothy, known for her sad eyes, transforms into a machete-wielding woman who must fight to defend herself. But Marsha also manages to show her role’s complex character as when Marlina tells her friend Novi, "I don’t feel that I have sinned." 

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, directed by Mouly Surya, not only made Marsha Timothy Best Actress in this year’s first Tempo Film Festival, it also won Best Film.

"The murder scenes were more difficult. It required focus to combine emotions and technical aspects," Marsha told Tempo. After cutting her rapist’s throat, she has to restrain her emotions as much as possible. Doing this required two days of exhausting rehearsals. 

Playing Marlina has been the most challenging role she has ever played. "This is a really cool story, and with the greatest character anyone has ever offered me," she said, laughing. She had to dig deep and work hard to understand her character over a period of several weeks.

Apart from understanding her layered character based on the screenplay, she also had to do much more to meet technical needs, including learning to ride a dirt bike along a rocky path in the hills and riding a horse at a ranch-including having to ride a rather wild horse during the shooting, as it happened to be in heat. Do not even ask about all the bruises she sustained during filming. 

Marsha Timothy spent three months learning the local dialect, by hanging out with local village housewives on location. She also got accustomed to seeing the mummified corpses kept in people’s homes.

 

Read the full article in this week's edition of Tempo English Magazine

 

 



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