Review: In Mars Met Venus (divided into two interrelated parts: Part Cewe, the girl’s version, and Part Cowo, the boy’s version), gender differences are heightened in a relationship between completely-opposed couple. Part Cewe encompasses the girl’s point of view in the saccharine-laced rapport, adorning it with gender judgment, principle and trifles.
Pamela Bowie is Mila—the Venus, the girlfriend in the story. She’s a girl of charm and popularity, who dates an unpopular guy, Kelvin (Ge Pamungkas). Mila is open, passionate, talkative, and more controlling in the relationship; meanwhile, Kelvin is more submissive and restricted. After five year in a relationship, the boy invites the girl to make a vlog about their love journey, with a hidden intention to propose her. Yet, conflicts start to embark during the vlog production. Never-been-seen-before details begin to unravel, jeopardizing love they’ve built for the last five years.
Mars Met Venus presents its grounded-in-reality narrative via series of flashback juxtaposed with each vlog material. From that overlapping timeline, the film reveals every monumental point in Mila and Kelvin’s relationship from how the meet-cute, how they start seeing each other and finally date each other. Intricacies are presented as natural as possible, reflecting modern real-life relationship, despite often depicted as an over-the-top one on the screen. Since this is the girl’s part, those series of narrative juxtaposition are accompanied by some emotional girls’ time, in which Mila shares her ups and downs with her completely-opposed besties, Icha (Ria Ricis) and Malia (Rani Ramadhany).
The film is built upon stereotypes about gender roles in relationship. Nataya Bagya’s script over-heightens that notion yet underuses it as a full-fledged narrative body. Conflicts, which aren’t neatly presented, often lose the moments too quickly and, soon, become predictable. However, Mars Met Venus doesn’t seem to bother with the conflicts, but it focuses more on the stereotype. The idea is to highlight those stereotypes to ignite and/or to work on the conflicts and view it separately. And this idea can only work if the double p.o.v. thingy also works.
From how Part Cewe ventures, it is implied that the double p.o.v. works nothing more than gimmick. Say the two parts go together as a full feature, Mars Met Venus will only present a sweet rom-com which goes into borderline banality. Save some cute staging of some romantic moments and fabulous performance by Ge Pamungkas and Pamela Bowie, this rom-com can only work because of the story’s close nature to reality, which might trigger sympathy from those who have experienced similar issues.
Unless Part Cowo offers more insight, which probes different perspective on viewing the girl’s part, Mars Met Venus: Part Cewe only works as sweet rom-com which relies on series of moments, not a full narrative. While the girl on the story is far more open than the boy, yet Part Cewe feels a little too restricted as a gleeful romance.
Mars Met Venus: Part Cewe (2017)
Drama, Romance, Comedy Directed by: Hadrah Daeng Ratu Written by: Nataya Bagya Starred by: Pamela Bowie, Ge Pamungkas, Ria Ricis, Reza Nangin Runtime: 98 mins