Southeast Asian video on-demand streaming service HOOQ announced in 2017, six TV series titles to be produced by its HOOQ Filmmakers Guild 2017, an annual program designed to provide creative platforms for filmmakers in Asia to produce online TV series. The competition allows directors, producers or scriptwriters to submit scripts and pitches for TV shows, with the top five receiving $30,000 to produce a pilot episode that will debut on HOOQ.
The best out of these five pilot episodes, decided by Hooq subscribers and a panel comprising top directors and actors in Southeast Asia, including Mouly Surya of “Marlina the Murdere in Four Acts” will be converted into a full series produced and debuted on HOOQ.
Bobby Prabowo’s effort in the competition is a thriller inspired by true events, which revolves around the Mafia in Jakarta.
Chris is a student about to graduate from law school, and to marry his girlfriend. However, his ties with the local mafia lead and Uncle Buetse, lead him to participate in a kidnapping of his boss’s enemy’s daughter. However, at the last moment, Chris changes his mind, and finds himself having to face his old comrades.
As stated in the prologue, “Heaven and Hell” is actually the pilot of a series rather than an actual movie, and as such, leaves a lot of questions unanswered, particularly regarding the past of the main characters, although this is one of the elements the script seems to be based upon. The story seems a bit generic, but the implementation is quite good, and the combination of Patrick Tashadian’s cinematography with the martial arts scenes and the special FX is rather enjoyable.
Aufa Assagaf as Chris and Donny Alamsyah as his direct higher-up play the parts convincingly, in genre film fashion, while Salvita Decorte as Chris’s girlfriend provides the archetype of the damsel-in-distress competently. Prabowo’s own editing, along with Yovial Virgi’s music also function quite well, particularly in the action scenes, with the one in the parking lot and the one outside Chris’s house being the most memorable.
Overall, “Heaven and Hell” seems like a very entertaining action crime thriller, and personally, I would like to see the progression of the story, since the full-blown gangsters’ warfare seems inevitable, and the series seems to aim in the style of violent action implemented in films like “The Raid”.