A Harsh Reminder Of The Corruption In Malaysia
Gritty, brutal and surprisingly relevant, Crossroads: One Two Jaga is a harsh reminder of the corruption rife in the underbelly of Malaysian culture. Following two separate stories that eventually clash during the third act when all hell breaks loose, Crossroads is a really well worked film, one that feels very similar to City Of God in both tone and thematic structure.
The story begins with a reminder of one of Malaysia’s biggest problems – immigration. Abused and beaten as a domestic worker, a young girl tries to flee the country, winding up in more trouble than she ever dreamed of.
The other side of Kuala Lumpar’s ragged, poverty-stricken streets is policeman Hassan (Rosdeen Suboh), a man who defiantly fights corruption – no matter the cost to himself and his family.
For most of the film these two stories remain independent to one another – showing the ugly side of the country and the shady individuals that revel in this ugliness. Along the way the story shows all kinds of topical issues at the heart of the country’s culture including corruption in the police force and an intricate web of organised crime.
Bathed in a sickly hue of yellowy green, the visual design of Crossroads is intention, drawing on feelings of disgust and uneasiness at what transpires in the film. It’s a choice that works very well indeed. Throughout the story, brutal moments are typified by the colour palette and this deliberate use of colour only reinforces the thought put into every crafted scene.
When the dust settles and the blood-soaked streets are washed clean, Crossroads: One Two Jaga’s message really hits home. The film builds toward its climactic finale and this breathless display of violence really typifies the brutality inherent in the film’s narrative. With an interesting group of characters at its core and a strong message hidden within the confines of its 80 minute run time, this Malaysian set drama makes for a very decent watch indeed.