Indonesia is slowly becoming established in North America as a great country for film, and this year’s Inside Out Film Festival is featuring one of Indonesia’s more recent offerings, Madame X. Featuring an adorable cast, Madame X has a political undercurrent without being preachy.
Madame X‘s featured character, Adam, is introduced as a male-to-female transsexual working at a spa with friends who act like his adoptive parents. While celebrating his birthday, he is visited by a shaman-esque woman who tells Adam of his prophesied destiny. Although strange, Adam thinks little of it at the time and continues to celebrate his birthday at a bar with his friends. While at the bar, his entire group of “ladyboys” are captured by BOGEM, a super conservative group that are trying to gain political power while eliminating all homosexuals from the country. While this may all sound quite heavy, Madame X handles all of this subject matter while remaining fun, silly and lighthearted.
Adam manages to escape BOGEM and is adopted by another family in a distant city. With the help of the people in the city Beyond the Clouds, they transform Adam into Madame X, a latex-clad superhero who saves not only his abducted friends, but also all of the people like him who BOGEM are trying to eliminate.
Madame X manages to be very successful at seamlessly blending a fun and engaging storyline with serious political discussion, and keeps everything light and colourful. Through the use of hilariously overdone CGI and blatantly over-the-top characters, Madame X makes both a political and cinematic statement without feeling like it is trying too hard.
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