Rako Prijanto is set to direct a new Koes Plus biopic produced by Falcon Pictures. (Photo courtesy of Falcon Pictures)

Ngak-Ngik-Ngok: Indonesia's 'The Beatles' Koes Plus Gets Biopic Treatment


OCTOBER 16, 2018

Jakarta. Falcon Pictures, one of the biggest film production companies in Indonesia – currently in the middle of adapting Pramoedya Ananta Toer's epic "Bumi Manusia" – has also gone ahead with another project to make a biopic of the legendary pop rock band Koes Plus, often considered as Indonesia's own The Beatles.

Koes Plus started as Koes Bersaudara (Koes Brothers) in 1960 as a family band made up exclusively of the Koeswoyo brothers: John, Yok, Yon, Nomo and Tonny.

After Nomo left the group in 1968, replaced by Kasmuri (Murry), the band changed its name to Koes Plus.

Some of the band’s most popular tunes include "Pelangi" ("Rainbow"), "Diana" and "Kolam Susu" (“Pool of Milk”).

Indonesia's first president Sukarno, an arch anti-imperialist, often criticized the band for playing Western-influenced "ngak-ngik-ngok" ("noisy") music.

In June 1965, the band members were put in jail in Penjara Glodok in Central Jakarta without trial or explanation, though they were soon released in September.

According to a press release from Falcon, the script for the biopic has already been written and the company is currently looking for the right actors to play the Koes brothers.

The company has started a campaign on Instagram asking people to nominate their favorite actors.

Producer Frederica said the biopic is going to go all out on the juicy details of Koes Plus' long career and the ups and downs of the band members' personal lives.

"Everyone knows Koes Plus. They were the number one band in Indonesia from the '60s right through to the '80s. The film will invoke a lot of nostalgia for many people," Frederika said.

Rako Prijanto, who directed "#TemanTapiMenikah" ("Friends But Married") for Falcon – currently this year’s fourth highest-grossing local movie according to filmindonesia.or.id has been selected to direct the Koes Plus biopic.

Rako said he was so "excited," he "got the chills" when he received the news because "Koes Plus' songs are so close to my heart."

He said he could already picture how the film would look from the script.

"Three things make up a good movie: dialogue, action and sound. Koes Plus has all of them. The dialogues I read on the script are great. The actions are handled very deftly. And of course, there's the incredible music," Rako said.