While the third act stumbles, Nanti Kita Cerita tentang Hari Ini ventures more than just a sappy family drama; it’s a close-up look of toxic masculinity at its crudest.
Nanti Kita Cerita tentang Hari Ini (NKCTHI), Angga Dwimas Sasongko’s eleventh movie, is an intimate yet moody slice-of-life family drama. Written by Jenny Jusuf and Melarissa Sjarief, the movie is inspired by a best-selling book of the same title by Marchella FP. Here’s the deal: the source material is not a non-narrative piece; it, instead, is a visual self-improvement book full of quotes and reflective thoughts. The movie, deconstructing the message of the book, aims to seek some contexts and backstories—which are as meaningful.
While mostly filled with quotes and thoughts, Marchella FP’s book is not without any narrative elements. It’s told from the perspective of Awan, who wrote life-lessons and wise advice to her daughter. The movie went further—to reinvent the book’s backstories which revolve around the lives of Awan’s family—by taking one crucial period and juxtaposing it with the family’s history that has been going for a 21-year period.
The story begins on the day when Faris Narendra (Oka Antara, The Raid 2) and Ajeng (Niken Anjani) prepare for the third childbirth, which would complete their family. It’s the day when Awan was born; it’s the day when Angkasa and Aurora finally welcomed their sibling; and yet, something does not seem right. Instead of delving into the oddity, the plot fast-forwards to several years later—as if it tries to conceal certain kind of secret—when everything seems perfectly normal.
In the present, Awan (Rachel Amanda) has grown up as a lively and talented young girl; her father (now portrayed by Donny Damara) and her mother (Susan Bachtiar, Bebas) seem to overly adorn and protect her. This would eventually alienate the other siblings, Angkasa (Rio Dewanto Filosofi Kopi) and Aurora (Sheila Dara, Bridezilla). The brother, tasked to take care of her 24/7, is overwhelmed and struggling with his crumbling relationship; the sister chooses to withdraw and resort to installation art; meanwhile, Awan begins to question her choices and free-will. A due altercation eventually erupts when Awan starts to date the charismatic Kale (Ardhito Pramono). Free will, responsibility, and personal ego collide when the ticking bomb finally unraveled. At this moment, NKCTHI would have already unveiled the secrets carefully, piece by piece to guide you contemplate about the drama.
Adapted from a quote book, NKCTHI takes the creative liberty to expand the story with touches of realism and adorn it with textual dialogues—channeling the source material’s spirit. For some, the dialogues might sound like reading prose; the flow is smooth, but the diction seems unnatural. However, the interlocution always blends subtly with the story and the acting to be carrying the message. Most importantly, the dialogues guide us to unravel the root of all trouble at its most subtle depiction.
Be it a lesser story, NKCTHI would have succumbed into the seduction to end up being a sappy tearjerker. While it has some sentimental moments during its 2-hour duration, Angga Dwimas never exploits them at the cost of the narrative. It could have been denser in some parts; but, the movie never becomes completely self-indulgent. In fact, the story ventures more than just a sappy family drama. It instead offers a close-up look of toxic masculinity at its crudest. The eventual altercation bestowed upon the family roots in the feet of subtle toxic masculinity, which has been taken as a credo and a normalized behavior. While indirectly, NKCTHI attempts to bring this issue up and guides audiences to see how familiar such a situation is in daily life.
The ensemble of casts works terrifically in ensuring that the message safely arrives. Combinations of young actors and the experienced ones perfectly capture the condition of the family, at least until the climactic stand-off, which opens up the third act. The final act, however, is staggering with many loose threads demanding to be unraveled. After some powerful build-ups, Nanti Kita Cerita tentang Hari Ini chooses to wrap the story with a series of prolonged epilogues, which are necessary but hasty. Luckily, the choices of soundtracks (which blends perfectly with these epilogues) add a little spark at the end; clinching the contemplation with a satisfactory smile.
Further movie information: Nanti Kita Cerita tentang Hari Ini on FilmIndonesia.or.id