In this movie, Garin Nugroho trying tells the story of three female with a background of Bali. All three have fairly complex life problems. The movie “Under The Tree” conceptualized with scenes laden with the scent of Bali’s mystical culture and sanctity.
Maharani (Marcella Zalianty), described as a woman who sold by her mother when still a “seed”. She returned to Bali to find out who is her biological mother (while carrying hatred). According to an astrologer, her mother was a dancer. Throughout her quest, she always met with problems between mother and child, both in love, committed suicide together, even the baby trade. However, rather than meet her biological mother figure, Maharani instead found other experience: begins with erotic scene with young man Bali (Dwi Sasono) stating that he is similar to his mother, until the sale of children involved with the business.
Dewi (Ayu Laksmi) is a Balinese woman who is pregnant. However, the doctor said that the baby she is carrying the experience of disability (Anencephalies) and can only live for a few minutes after being born. Finally, he was faced with two tough choices: childbirth or abortion. Whatever the choice of Dewi, the result remains the same. Although the results are the same, which is faced with the choice of Dewi is definitely not something that can be determined by calculating the studs because this is the core issue of the mother.
Nian (Nadia Saphira) told as a teen artist who fled to Bali because of embarrassment due to her father’s involvement in corruption. Nian who crave a new father figure met Darma (Ikranagara), who is practically living artist in the world of art itself. Nian has always trailed Darma with the hope Darma figure can be a new figure of her father.
All three figures were not mutually meet-up each other. It is a film with three stories put together by time and place, that is Bali today, with the socio-political-legal. From what I see, this film is all depicted mystical. But not all stories make a frown. We can see a light laugh with simple story which describes a woman who is jealous because she was never get ride a motorcycle with a man she likes.
This film is not a film that is easy to follow. First, the language that uses is the language of Bali. Although there is a subtitle, we still would have lost in translation. Second, the language used is the language of symbols. Another problems are I found some difficulties to see what connection this story to a tree, as in the title. Direction is not clear until we can see the shade of banyan tree. Everything is shaded under a tree, which gives life to all. The tree is the parent of them all.