Sibling rivalries are as ancient as Cain and Abel. Cinema has seen so many stories where two brothers go against each other, where one is supposedly the bad brother and the other is the good. Recently, there has been a spin on this good vs. bad narrative. What if both brothers are bad and they go against each other? Budak Flat is essentially the story of two brothers, but the main character is the building where the two brothers live, hence the title Budak Flat. The film has allegedly been co-directed by four directors, but there is a unity to the jumpy nature of the film, and it doesn’t feel like multiple visions have tried to jumble up the film. The fidgety camera work, evoking the magic from the film La Haine, helps tell this bloody story in a gripping manner.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
Aman and Riz were two brothers who lived in the Budak Flat in Malaysia. This was an area where lowlifes, the dejected, the ones whose lives had not gone as they’d dreamed, came to life. Aman and Riz were once like a unit, whose bond seemed unbreakable, but they couldn’t handle their rage against each other when a woman came in between the two. Jojo, once linked with Aman, is now Riz’s wife. The rivalry between the brothers wasn’t necessarily because of Jojo, but because Riz had started to work with Kumar. Kumar was the one who had started a drug factory in the building and hired Riz to ensure his product became the talk of the town. There were frequent users in the flat itself, and Riz profited from the business. Aman didn’t work with Kumar, but that didn’t mean he was squeaky clean in any way. He dabbled in selling all kinds of counterfeit and illegal material, but drugs were where he drew the line, and this gave him a sense of moral superiority over Riz. Aman and Riz did not function alone. They had their gangs with them that they had groomed over the years, taking new ones into their fold whenever they got the chance. Riz’s closest aides were Kayu and Ayul. Both helped Riz sell his product. Meanwhile, Aman had his own gang, with his closest friends being Sotong and Gunting, who helped him in his daily affairs. Trouble began when Kumar made a new formula for his drugs that was life-threatening if taken in large doses.
Why Did Jojo Marry Riz?
Aman had always been an angry fellow, and he seemed to have been soothed when he met Jojo many years ago. Things looked like they were going uphill for him, but suddenly he got caught, and the judge didn’t take any mercy on him. Perhaps his place of residence, the neighborhood he belonged to, and the company he kept all forced the judge to be merciless and sentence him for five years. Jojo was in a dilemma about whether to wait for Aman to get out of jail or move on with her life. The flat didn’t have many other prospects for Jojo. Meanwhile, Riz had just started to work for Kumar, which meant he could help Jojo get a job and provide money for her sister’s operation. When this news got to Aman, his rage knew no bounds, and Jojo had to bear the brunt of Aman’s wrath. After that talk in prison, she had enough of it. Riz was by her side, and as five years went by, they only grew closer. Aman was disappointed to see them together, but he had to get back into the business. He acted like he didn’t care that Jojo went with Riz, but it was hard for him to digest that fact. It meant that Aman and Riz could perhaps never reunite.
Why Was It Necessary To Find Mandy?
Mandy was another resident who lived in the building and worked in the same place as Jojo’s. Both Mandy and her boyfriend, Ay Kit, were addicted to Kumar’s product. They even had fights about who would buy and use the drugs from Ayul. Mandy and Ay Kit were in Block 1 of the building where Kumar was murdered. Aman had discovered Kumar breathing his last, and Kumar, sensing that his time was up, had offered him a thumb drive. The thumb drive contained the formula for his latest, most addictive drug, but Aman had no use for it except to keep it hidden from Riz. The trouble was that Riz had seen Aman holding Kumar’s body, and Riz could only draw one conclusion from it: that in his rage, he had killed Kumar to get back at him. Aman had to meet the gangster Boss X, who had called them in to figure out who had killed Kumar. Riz was adamant that Aman murdered Kumar, but the final deal offered to Aman was to find out who was the real culprit. If he failed to do so within 3 days, he would be killed. Riz objected to Aman being murdered and requested Boss X make Aman work under Riz himself. Aman had to get to work pretty quickly and find a witness, and soon he found out that Mandy may have seen who was roaming around in Block 1 apart from Kumar.
Why Did Sotong Stab Aman?
Aman tried his best to locate Mandy, but he couldn’t. Jojo came to the rescue, as she still cared for Aman. She figured Ay Kit was the one who had seen her last, and when he confirmed that she was in Block 1 somewhere, Jojo started her search. Sotong and Gunting were busy as well, trying to find Mandy. Kayu and others were on to Aman’s gang with the motive of disrupting their hunt. Jojo, Aman’s gang, and Riz’s gang all found Mandy’s address at the same time, and they started a sprint to get to her first. Mandy tried to escape, figuring someone would want to silence her as she indeed had seen the murder and could possibly identify who was the killer. In a panic, she tried to run away from everyone, stepped on a bucket, and slipped, tipping over the balcony. Aman saw the only witness fall to her death right in front of his eyes.
Riz wanted Aman’s ego to be crushed, which is why he had been playing mind games with him. Aman had Kumar’s thumb drive, and he thought that if push came to shove, he could offer it up in exchange for his freedom. But Mandy’s untimely death and then a child overdosing on Riz’s product made Aman furious. He risked everything and went against Boss X’s command. The two gangs were again at loggerheads, and this time it didn’t seem like a gang war. It seemed as if two great powers were fighting the ultimate fight to decide who would rule over the place. The residents who were involved in making the drugs in the building for money now figured that even children weren’t safe from this new product. During the ending of Budak Flat, Aman and Riz begin a death match, but suddenly Sotong stabs Aman. Sotong was Aman’s closest friend, but he had betrayed him. Amidst the chaos after Kumar’s death, Sotong had gone to meet Boss X, who had ordered him to kill Riz and Aman, taking over Kumar’s business. Kumar and Aman had mutually decided to put a stop to the drug business, which was causing huge losses for Boss X.
Riz was an imbecile, according to Boss X, and he was better dead than alive. Sotong was promised that Riz’s gang would work under him, and this was too great a prospect for weak-willed Sotong to decline. He figured that he would emerge as the new ruler after the brothers weakened each other in their petty fights, but something miraculous happened. After Sotong stabbed Aman, Riz forgot all the animosity he had for Aman and went on to kill Sotong. Boss X arrived, asking Aman for the thumb drive. Jojo had already destroyed Kumar’s lab, and Aman proceeded to crush the evil thumb drive right in front of Boss’ eyes. The whole neighborhood was standing with Aman, and Boss X thought it was best to retreat. There was a hint that he would return, and hence a sequel is definitely on the cards. Riz did not survive the wounds, and it seems she would be taken care of by Aman himself. He had seen true sacrifice and forgiven Riz for all his past misdeeds. Now he geared up for his fight with Boss X, which would be fought on the land of the Budak Flat.