Film Review: Lovely Man (2011) by Teddy Soeriaatmadja

By Kyriacos Kyriacou

With the questioning title “Lovely Man,” and the main characters being a transvestite prostitute and his religious Islamic daughter, being intriguing enough, the movie takes us in a human reconciliation journey, in the streets of the capital of Indonesia, during a single night.

Cahaya (Raihaanun), a 19-years-old girl with strong Islamic values, arrives in Jakarta seeking her long lost father Sailful (Donny Damara). To her surprise, she finds what she is looking for in the face of a stranger, a transvestite man named Ipuy, working as a prostitute in the streets at night. Hesitant at the beginning, they wander in the streets of Jakarta until the dawn and they end up in an encounter of self-realization and soul salvation for both of them.

Teddy Soeriaatmadja, who writes and pens the movie, unfolds the story at a slow pace. It takes place during one night and focuses on
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