Categories Film Review

Cek Toko Sebelah, A Great Result of Simple Story and Jokes

Stand up comedian Ernest Prakasa is back to the big screen through Cek Toko Sebelah, the movie which he himself played as one of the main casts and also direct. The movie tells a comedy and drama story about common stereotype of Chinese family in Indonesia.

Cek Toko Sebelah does not exaggerate in telling its story, it does not give some unneeded sob-plots just to extend its running time. The movie really shows a simple story and some simple jokes and everything is very well-organized.

Even the title itself, Cek Toko Sebelah (Check The Store Next Door), sounds like a suggestion which every shop keeper usually said to state that his/her goods are better and cheaper than any other stores in the area. And yes, the basic story of this movie are the things that usually happen inside a store and many other elements related to it, such as relation between worker, with another shop owner, developer agency, and also family relation who own the shop.

There are some certain labels about certain races. In Indonesia, Chinese is mostly labelled as a merchant who sells electronic stuffs, fabrics, and also groceries. The movie is not going against that label, instead it tells a problem about family relationship who own a store and how the family member resolve their very own problem. And the movie also is decorated with a lot of jokes, both daily life jokes also jokes about the stereotype.

The movie tells the story about Koh Afuk (Chew Kin Wah), who is a shop owner and has two sons. One day he suddenly sick and his condition makes him can not longer manage his own shop. So, he wants his second son, Erwin (Ernest Prakasa), to take over the shop.

The problem rises. Erwin is a successful office worker who soon-to-be promoted as a head of South East Asian branch. He can not leave his work and carrier to become a shop-keeper, his girlfriend (Gisella) also do not want his carrier falls suddenly.

On the other hand, Koh Afuk’s first born son, Yohan (Dion Wiyoko), wishes that himself can continue the shop and willing to be the next shop-keeper after his father. But, Koh Afuk does not want to give the shop to Yohan because of some family issues.

Then, after giving some thoughts, Erwin finally helps his dad as a shop-keeper for only a month. But at that time the problem grows more especially between Erwin and his girlfriend and also between Erwin and his elder brother. After a month, Erwin doesn’t want to continue being a shop keeper and decides to go back to office.

Koh Afuk whose heart fall apart because the decision of his son decides to sell the store. Koh Afuk’s illness suddenly worsen, but Yohan decides to save the store. At the time also, through some events, Erwin have chances to resolve some issues between him and his elder brother, Yohan.

The characters develop very well. Without too much explanation, the characteristic of each person is well presented. The characteristic flows naturally with the story and also the problem. It looks like that each rising problem give us a glimpse of a new side of each character.

The movie also have some comedy gimmicks through its supporting casts. There is a clerk or shop worker who loves to write some poems and he fall in love with another clerk from the shop next door. There is also another clerk who  can’t spell ‘R’ alphabet, and the other clerks love to make fun of him.

Yohan has a wife, her name is Ayu (Adinia Wirasti). There is another problem which is presented in the movie. That is Koh Afuk actually doesn’t really approve Ayu as his daughter-in-law, but the movie is not really explain the background of this problem. Even though this problem actually can make the movie grows more to the next level and make the problem a little bit complicated and still not too hard to digest.

Some people says that a talent such as Adinia Wirasti is such a waste to portray Ayu. Ayu is very calm and doesn’t really have many dialogue compare to the main characters. But in my opinion, Ayu is a great supporting cast in this movie.

Ayu, through her dialogue and appearance, always solves the problem naturally. Her character is like a mastermind who stands behind the curtain. She is like an easily-forgotten character who calmly and naturally solves some problems.

The movie itself offers comical story with so many classic jokes and social assumption against Chinese who usually have a store. The interesting part is the movie does not going against the stereotype but uses the stereotype as an important background story.

There are also some family drama element inside the movie. The comedy and drama are really well executed into a funny yet deep and touching movie.


Our Score (9/10)


Judul                      : Cek Toko Sebelah
Produksi               : Starvision Plus
Produser               : Chand Parwez Servia, Fiaz Servia
Sutradara             : Ernest Prakasa
Pemain                  : Ernest Prakasa, Dion Wiyoko, Chew Kinwah, Gisella Anastasia, Adinia Wirasti, Tora Sudiro


Putu Radar Bahurekso
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Written By


Demon Lord (Editor-in-Chief) of Monster Journal.
Film critics, and pop-culture columnist.
A bachelor in International Relations, and Master's in Public Policy.
Working as a Consultant for Communications and Public Affairs.


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3 months ago

Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

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