Netflix 'Photocopier' Review: Visually impressive thriller is a must-watch

A gripping  thriller about a computer student trying to figure out what happened to her at a party the night before


                            Netflix 'Photocopier' Review: Visually impressive thriller is a must-watch
The official poster of 'Photocopier' (Netflix)

Sur (Shenina Syawalita Cinnamon), a first-year computer student, joins the college theatre group and discovers a family in the friends that she makes there. However, after one night of innocent partying, she is in for a rude awakening.  She wakes up the next morning hazy from something more than wine after a party to celebrate a prize-winning performance. Sur struggles to piece together memories of the previous evening as the fear that one of her friends may have done something inappropriate gnaws at her. 

Will Sur ever be able to learn the truth? More on that later, and if this plot has you interested then check out more thriller movies and series available for you to watch on Netflix such as: 'Brazen', 'The Silent Sea', 'The Journalist' and ‘The Valhalla Murders’.

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Shenina's Sur is a student from a conservative family that owns a small tavern and is volunteering as a web designer for a university theatre group. The group's debut is a big success and the university offers to send them to Japan for an international competition. Sur is invited to a party at the home of Rama, a wealthy young man who is also in charge of the theater's sets and she accepts over her father's objections. Sur is having a nice time, but for the first time ever, she decides to drink. Cut to the morning after, she wakes up all groggy and realization hits her that she is late for an essential meeting for her scholarship.

A still from the movie. (Netflix)

Things go from bad to worse as the panel examining her scholarship notices the hazy selfies she posted on social media late at night – immoral conduct, she is told, will disqualify her from receiving the financial aid she desperately needs to attend university. Her father, who has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to family disgrace, throws his daughter out onto the street. So Sur stays out with her childhood best friend, Amin (Chicco Kurniawan), who owns a photocopy shop popular with university students, and begins hacking the group member's phones in an attempt to put together the events of the night. Eventually, a much bigger case is revealed, while another girl from her class, Farah who quit the theatre group some time ago, also emerges as a key player.

'Photocopier' on Netflix is a hard-hitting and realistic watch since it does not follow the fast justice and happy ending model. Sur is humiliated at every turn for stating the truth, as we can see. Gender stereotypes rear their ugly head as boys are free to smoke and drink as much as they like, but if a girl drinks, she looses her right to an education. Furthermore, there will always be those who doubt the truth.

The film is a depiction of the lives of many adolescent girls and boys. Sur is played by Shenina Cinnamon, who gives a fantastic performance. Sur's development from a timid adolescent to a fearless fighter is impressive. The other actors have also played their role quite well.

The movie though starts out slow, makes for a compelling watch. It uses metaphors quite beautifully as evidenced by the name 'Photocopier' as well as the play of Medusa which was shown in the beginning. Many scenes of the movie are quite impactful and make you feel for Sur.

A still from the movie (IMDb)

It is a gripping depiction of high school/college sexual abuse and reveals the horrible culture of victim shaming. The superb acting and script will keep you guessing until the very end.

Following a series of well-received shorts, this is director Wregas Bhanuteja's debut feature film. 'Lembusura' (2015) screened in Berlin; 'Prenjak/ 'In The Year Of Monkey' (2016) won the Cannes Critics' Week Best Short Film award, as well as awards at the Melbourne and Singapore international film festivals. 'No One Is Crazy In This Town' (2019), his most recent short film was screened at Sundance, Busan and Locarno.

All in all, 'Photocopier' is a vibrant and young film that, while resonating best with domestic audiences, should also pique festival audiences' interest and solidify Bhanuteja's reputation as a filmmaker to watch.

The movie is now streaming on Netflix.

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.