‘Ali Topan’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: What Happens To Anna And Topan?

Ali Topan follows a structure that has been seen in many Indian films (of various regions) countless times. A rich girl falls for a poor boy. The two of them elope, with the girl’s family going after them. Most of the time, there’s a stock character—a loser—the girl’s family wants her to marry; this film is no exception. Of course, Sidharta Tara’s Indonesian drama is the latest adaptation of the 1971 Indonesian novel “Ali Topan Street Child” (a 1977 film of the same name was the first adaptation). This version is set in the present day, and it has a heavily political angle, going hand in hand with the central romance. Also, the lead characters, Ali Topan and Anna Karenina (clearly an homage), are quite smart and pragmatic, contrary to what you usually see in films of this kind. Actors Jefri Nichol and Lutesha have a magnetic presence, and their chemistry looks organic on screen. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at Ali Topan and discuss its ending, which I felt was something that made this film stand out.

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Spoilers Ahead


What Happens in the Movie?

Ali Topan might hail from a middle-class family, with his father running a construction business, but he belongs to the street. Topan has ditched college, denounced the system, and is a proud member of an underground community in the Warung area of North Jakarta. Topan and his friends organize a music concert in order to raise donations for the underprivileged. At one such concert, Topan bumps into Anna, and despite having diametrically opposite backgrounds, the two of them hit it off. Anna is the daughter of real-estate tycoon Tuan Surya (I had to look into Letterboxd for the name), who runs the Surya Group. She had an older sister, Veronika, aka Ika, who mysteriously disappeared years ago, and the family acts like she never even existed. Only after Ika’s disappearance have they become extremely controlling, which has made Anna’s life pretty much a living hell. To make things worse, there’s this minister’s son, Boy (not sure if that’s the name of the character or just what the film intends to call him; either way, it’s fine), who is after her and follows her everywhere like a fly on a garbage truck. Anna’s father clearly intends to marry his daughter off to this idiot, for both political and financial benefit. Quite naturally, when Anna returns home from the concert on Topan’s motorcycle, neither Boy nor Mr. Surya are happy about it.

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Why Does a Riot Break Out in Warung?

Right from the start of Ali Topan, the class division was pretty evident. Warung was projected as a volatile area, watched by both the law and the lawless. A riot breaking out during a concert is not surprising. As a matter of coincidence, thanks to Anna being present, Boy tries to cause a disruption. He’s soon taken care of by the community as Anna and Topan get out of there. Shortly after, the scene at the concert turns into full chaos, with bottles being thrown all around. In the meantime, Topan’s friend Bobby quietely escapes after committing a fraud—embedding the donation money for the Taring Muda Organization. Bobby has his own reason; his mother’s in a lot of debt, and the organization is threatening her—something that we get to know much later. The riot is, of course, a planned one by the organization, where this guy, Ojan, plays a pivotal role. Ojan is a rival of Topan, and he used to be a part of the underground community before joining the dark side. 


Why do Topan and Anna go away from Jakarta? 

As the film progresses, Topan and Anna fall for each other heavily. But the reason they leave the city right after the chaos in Warung is Anna’s need to find her sister. So off they go, Anna and Topan, on his motorcycle, for a cross-country road trip. But thanks to Anna not telling her family (as if they would have let her!), they come up with a “Topan has kidnapped Anna” narrative, as always happens. Boy also goes after them with the Taring Muda people, led by Ojan. It’s a clear enemy of my enemy in my friend scenario between the two. 

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Topan and Anna take refuge in the village of Topan’s friend, Dirga. When Boy and his team get there, Dirga and the villagers pretty much shoo them away, thanks to Taring Muda playing an active part in oppressing the village. This helps Topan and Anna escape, although they have a pretty solid fight with some of the men from Team Boy-Ojan. Anna and Topan eventually reach Veronika’s place, and they receive a warm welcome from Ika and her humble husband. The two sisters make up, and Ika reveals to Anna that she only left because she wanted to live her life on her own terms. Ika also suggests Anna do the same. The next morning, Anna and Topan quietly leave without informing Ika and her husband, as Anna doesn’t want to land her sister in trouble. Considering the house is soon to be swarmed by police, it was definitely a smart move. 


What Happens to Anna and Topan?

Things usually go two ways in these rich-poor romance movies: either the romance is accepted by everyone, or our lead couple gets a happily ever after. Or one or both of them are killed, and it’s a tragedy. But this is where Ali Topan sets itself apart by taking a different route. While it seemed like the riot, Warung’s betrayal, and Bobby’s betrayal were used just as backgrounds, during the final act everything came into the play. After getting betrayed by a hotel manager, Topan and Anna have another round with Team Boy-Ojan. They flee this time around as well, but Topan made sure to provide the audience with a satisfying moment where he beat Boy black and blue. 

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Once they find Bobby and get to know how the whole thing in Warung was orchestrated by Taring Muda, Topan comes up with a plan. Surrounded by police, Topan puts on a show—he makes it seem like he has actually kidnapped Anna (of course Anna is in on it), and he’ll only let her go if the police look into the Warung riot and properly investigate. He also demands the donation that got stolen back, and he will only deal with a neutral party, which happens to be none other than Ika. Once Ika arrives, Topan hands her over a piece of paper with an instruction to go to Bobby’s house and retrieve a pen drive that has all the details about Taring Muda and their wrongdoing. Once Ika does that, Team Boy-Ojan is broken into pieces. The minister’s son wants to dissociate himself from a criminal organization, for obvious reasons. Anyway, Topan gets arrested, but he is released on bail eventually. In the final scene of the film, Topan is standing in the familiar neighborhood of Warung, looking all happy and proud. What will happen to Anna and him now? Well, there’s no reason they shouldn’t get together and find their happily ever after while doing good for society.


Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

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