Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams — Episode 5 “The Other Side” Recap & Review

The Other Side

Episode 5 of Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams titled “The Other Side” starts in the year 1997 when a man named Bandi lives with his wife Dewi and his son Marhaan in an abandoned building. Bandi worked at a theatre where he met Dewi and the two fell in love. However, after losing his job when the theatre was burned down, Bandi is forced to do odd jobs to earn a living.

Dewi also left her wealthy family to live with Bandi because she dearly loves him. One day as Bandi is painting movie posters on the walls outside their house, some men sent by Dewi’s brother beat him up. Dewi’s brother forces her to come back home but she refuses. She signs over her share of their father’s property and asks her brother to never return.

That night, Bandi thanks Dewi for standing by her side and promises to be with her forever. However, when Dewi starts experiencing extreme period pain, Bandi leaves to go to the pharmacy to bring her some medication. On the way to the pharmacy, Bandi spots the old theatre that he worked at and decides to go inside.

Inside the theatre, Bandi meets his old boss – Domi who offers him a jacket and asks him to get back to work as if it hadn’t been years. Bandi noticed that the inside of the theatre was in perfect condition and had many elite guests. He asks Domi why the theatre was not as well-maintained on the outside as it was on the inside. Domi asks Bandi to go out from the front gate and have a look.

Once outside, Bandi learns that the theatre is well maintained. He goes back inside and wonders if he was hallucinating. Domi tells Bandi that he can join them for the movie screening and goes inside. Bandi finds the money in his pocket and is reminded of Dewi. He leaves the jacket that Domi had given him and exits the theatre from the back door.

Back at his house, he sees Dewi and is about to tell her all about the theatre reopening when she slaps him. Dewi tells Bandi that he had been gone for 2 years and explains how they thought he had run away or had died. Bandi is confused and apologises to Dewi. He tells her that he did not run away and adds that he only visited the theatre for a couple of hours.

Dewi eventually forgives Bandi and finds that his shirt has the same paint mark from two years ago. She also finds the money she had sent him to the pharmacy with and believes that Bandi was not lying. Dewi tells Bandi that she had worked hard in the two years and had saved enough money for them to rent a small house.

A few days later, Dewi takes Bandi and Marhaan to a restaurant for a meal. Bandi states that he is going out for a smoke but ends up helping a thief who had stolen a bike. The men kill the bike thief and are about to kill Bandi when he flees from them. Bandi finds himself at the theatre all over again. Domi tells Bandi that he can have his old job and his old life back if he stays there.

Domi also promises that Bandi will be able to become a rich man if he stays at the theatre and leaves Dewi alone. Bandi contemplates the decision for a while but then runs out of the back door. He goes back home and finds that Dewi and Marhaan do not live there anymore. The painters working in the building tell Bandi that Dewi and Marhaan had rented a place nearby. He rushes to look for Dewi and finds that this time, he has gone for 3 whole years. Bandi is shocked to learn that Dewi has remarried and lives with her new husband – Arif.

Bandi is heartbroken but Arif tells him that Dewi has moved on. That day, Bandi is crying by himself at their old house when Marhaan shows up there with some food for him. Marhaan tells his father that Dewi was very upset upon his return. He asks Bandi to leave them alone as they are happy now. Bandi goes back to the theatre and starts working there.

Three more years pass, as Marhaan is going to college. Dewi, Arif and Marhaan are at a restaurant when they see a news report of homeless people living on the streets of Jakarta. Dewi spots a dishevelled Bandi on the streets in the video and decides to go looking for him. Arif tries to stop Dewi but she is still persistent.

Meanwhile, Bandi is working at the theatre as he contemplates going back to meet Dewi and Marhaan. Domi threatens to attack Bandi if he leaves and the other elite moviegoers hold him down.

Dewi shows up at the place where the movie theatre used to be and finds that it is now an open forest. There, a creature is controlling Bandi and many other people.

The creature stops Bandi from returning to reality by forcing him to avoid thinking about Dewi. Dewi attacks the creature and tries to wake Bandi up.

In his mind, Domi tells Bandi that he needs to let go of Dewi if he wants her to be happy. Bandi finally gives in and stops thinking about her.

Just then, the real Bandi in the outside world dies in Dewi’s arms as the episode ends.

The Episode Review

We are seeing how this show is progressing to bring in more and more characters, with no way of connecting the story to the characters from other episodes.

From what we have seen in the last five chapters, this show looks like an anthology and viewers can watch any chapter as per their liking. However, I would love it if there was some sort of connection between the stories and we will have to wait for the next two episodes before we find out.

This episode was emotional and hard to watch because Bandi really loves Dewi and his family but is being controlled by an external force that is keeping him from living a happy life.

Dewi’s determination to help Bandi come back to reality fails when he gives in to the temptation and the evil forces win.

I wish Bandi would have a different ending to his story as it was really sad to see him die in Dewi’s arms without even recognizing her.

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Expect a full-season review later this weekend!

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1 thought on “Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams — Episode 5 “The Other Side” Recap & Review”

  1. this is a very very deep episode, and stands out far from the others.

    Trapped in his own mind, the struggle is real.

    Feelings of the world being better off without him verses staying alive because he is loved is a very real balancing act for people who have mental health issues – the ending highlights the pain caused to those left behind when someone ‘makes the choice’ to leave..

    On many levels it captures the elusive x factor of real love and the turmoil it can bring to those who struggle with their own inner demons despite also loving deeply other/s.

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