*Estimated Read Time: 2 mins

Review: This is Lala’s first love; yet, Yudhis wants it to be their forever. That’s how Posesif abridges its powerful content. It’s a high-school meet-cute that blossoms, escalates, grows as quickly as it spirals out of control. It’s a portrayal of how love is addressed as a tool to possess and how immaturity is outdoing the typical puppy love tropes and ending up in a chain of abusive relationship.

Even in his most mainstream tenure, Edwin (Blind Pigs Who Wants to Fly, Postcards from Zoo) can still channel his arthouse virtuoso and turn a sub-genre considered as ‘cheesy’ to a poignant, insightful observation of toxic teenage relationship. Under his direction upon Gina S. Noer’s script, coming-of-age relationship is depicted as an acrimonious force, which haunts both parties, in the name of love.

Lala (Putri Marino) finally has another option aside from her mundane yet demanded life, when Yudhis (Adipati Dolken) comes into her life with his love-is-a-selfish-thing idea. Yudhis loves Lala to the extent that he wants her to be his only world, vice versa; meanwhile, Lala is caught in a Stockholm Syndrome situation, thinking that she’s the only person who can change her lover. There’s a magnetic field between them, sticking them together but pushing them against each other at the same time.

Posesif carefully draws thread by thread on how that toxic love might happen and puts those threads in context. The series of abusive interactions can be traced back to the characters’ behavior unfolded gradually as the story goes on. Lala and Yudhis live in somewhat possessive culture; the former is patronized by her widowed father (Yayu Unru), who also acts as her platform diving coach, while the latter is oppressed by his abusive single-mother (Cut Mini Theo). Posesif works because Edwin and Gina adeptly unravel this whole frame as a reflection beyond the teenage romance. Even though, some far-fetched details flourish, they are ‘excusable’ for Edwin puts those flaws as an effective motor to the plot.

In carrying out the beast beyond the romance, Posesif owes Putri Marino and Adipati Dolken the credit. In portraying the character as an individual respectively, both of them bring authentic depth and credo; in portraying the couple, Putri and Adipati showcases an even stronger chemistry—in happy or bitter time. Their performance is undoubtedly a juggernaut.

Edwin orchestrates a silky combination of engaging cinematography to bring up moods and commence symbolism, depth of characters highlighted in expression and the power of silence, which ‘blatantly’ narrates the story. His meditative direction results in an important film—by any means or types of audiences.—that ends up as a powerful story of an overlooked relationship issue told as a juggernaut of Indonesian coming-of-age romance.

Posesif (2017) 1h 42min | Drama, Romance | 26 October 2017 (Indonesia) Summary: Lala is a platform diving athlete in her final year of high school when she meets Yudhis, a transfer student. The initial romance blossoms, but something about Yudhis is unfolding one by one.
Countries: IndonesiaLanguages: Indonesian