Review: In Mars Met Venus: Part Cowo, a boy and a girl in a relationship is analogized as water and oil that naturally cannot mix. However, both can somehow blend into perfection if mixed with noodle, spices, broth, vegetables, and minced chicken meat and made into chicken noodle soup. Good news is that blend is delicious. That kind of parable—that kind of absurd, wacky jive—is what distances Part Cowo from Part Cewe.
Nataya Bagya’s script still over-heightens stereotypes about gender roles in relationship. Yet, Part Cowo is presented in a more devil-may-care and more independent fashion, provoking an unpredictable sentimental moments. While Part Cewe feels a little restricted in portraying its gleeful, saccharine-heavy endeavor, Part Cowo breaks the romance boundary and, as the chicken noodle soup, calls out more elements in adorning Kelvin and Mila’s (Ge Pamungkas and Pamela Bowie) relationship.
I suggest you read my take on Mars Met Venus: Part Cewe while reading this review to further grab how both parts contrast with each other. In brief, Mars Met Venus recounts the couple’s attempt to make a video log about their love journey so far, which unexpectedly almost goes wrong and jeopardizes their 5-year relationship. The vlog production juxtaposes with series of flashbacks and some kind of after-show reaction reality—Mila with her BFFs, and Kelvin with his boarding house-mates.
Part Cowo appears to have loosely strayed from the romance frame and often goes full-frontal comedy mode without actually “straying.” Kelvin’s interaction with his friends capture absurdity of an all-male coven in over-the-top portrayal, but that doesn’t make this part a non-integral part of Mars Met Venus. In fact, this part provides more insight about the relationship, presents and answers unhinged questions (compared to Part Cewe which mostly throws in shade), as well as signifies clearer motivation of the plot.
More to it, Kelvin’s POV makes use of all the supporting characters adroitly into the story, not as some mere attachment. And, for this, Cameo Project (Reza Nangin, Ibob Tarigan, Martin Anugrah and Steve Pattinama) has integrated themselves into the story perfectly and induces it with high dose of hilarity, which is worth your chuckles. Their presence transcends more than simply becoming some comic reliefs, but also adding depth to Kelvin’s conflict with sheer absurdity.
Compared to Part Cewe, Part Cowo feels like a more complete story, which might address both POVs equally. I might confidently conclude that Mars Met Venus should’ve dropped the female-male perspective gimmick and presented this part only, and will still make a decent Mars Met Venus film. The improvement isn’t spectacularly game-changing, but Part Cowo is a far more superior part and it deserves some looks.
Mars Met Venus: Part Cowo (2017)
Drama, Romance, Comedy Directed by: Hadrah Daeng Ratu Written by: Nataya Bagya Starred by: Ge Pamungkas, Pamela Bowie, Cameo Project Runtime: 94 mins