“Wira” brings Southeast Asian Martial Arts to Netflix

by SEA Wave
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By: Godfreyna Canja


Netflix recently acquired the rights to a Malaysian martial arts movie called “Wira.” The film features Silat, a large diverse collection of combat disciplines practiced around Southeast Asia. Wira stars two notable action stars from Malaysia and Indonesia, Hairul Azreen and Yayan Ruhian. The actors are not new to intense and violent fight scenes as both starred in blockbuster action films such as Paskal and The Raid respectively. The films have been received by the public with great approval that Yayan Ruhian scored cameos in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Wira tells the story of an ex-lieutenant that returns home, played by Hairul Azreen, and finds himself entering an underground martial arts competition to take on a mob to protect his family. While the plot can be deemed as a genre cliché, Wira boasts of explosive fight scenes with thrilling long takes of fights with hordes of gangsters. The film also showcases Malaysia style on camera movement and cinematography.

Directed by Adrian Teh, “Wira” is his second film to land a spot on Netflix, preceded by Paskal. The film has been well received by viewers and is said that Hassan’s character might have a chance in becoming the next martial arts hero in the world.

Yayan Ruhian’s expertise in Silat shows in the movie, and the fun fact is that Ruhian is one of the fight choreographers in the film! That’s why the film’s climax, the fight scene between the protagonist Hassan and the villain Ifrit did not disappoint with tight actions and use of Silat, Wira was able to bring Malaysian action films to a new level.

The film also received great praise for portraying the sister of Hassan in the movie. While most Malaysian films portray women as weak, damsels in distress, Wira gives the role of Zain, Hassan’s sister, as a tough and determined woman that fights to protect her family alongside his brother. Many critics have applauded how Teh created her character as strong enough to fight her own battles and sticks to her beliefs.

Along with Wira, many Malaysian films have already made their way to Netflix namely, Pulang, Munafik 2, Polis Evo, Sangkar, Dendam Pontianak, Fly By Night, Jagat, and Crossroads: One Two Jaga and Rise Ini Kalilah.

Don’t miss out, watch the trailer of Wira here:

Are you thrilled that more Southeast Asian films are being recognized internationally on Netflix? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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