Netflix-bound young adult romance, Geez & Ann, adds to the ever-expanding hit-or-miss Wattpad waves in Indonesian blockbuster scenes. Based on a story by Rintik Sedu, Rizki Balki (with another Wattpad adaptation, A: Aku, Benci & Cinta, in his repertoire) takes the directorial duty working on the script adapted by Adi Nugroho and Cassandra Massardi along with Muthia Khairunissa, Amit Jethani, and Bonky. Junior Roberts stars as Gazza Cahyadi a.k.a. Geez; meanwhile, Hanggini portrays Keana Amanda a.k.a. Ann. Now, where’s its place among other Wattpad adaptations?
Related Post: Review: A: Aku, Benci & Cinta (2021)
As in many other Wattpad-born stories, Geez & Ann bears most of the saccharine-laced traits; not to mention the overly fabricated meet-cute, corny dialogues that come out of the blue, and mawkish drama among others. It’s cliche-ridden, nonetheless, with a star-crossed love story in the merciless long-distance relationship at the center. Yet, what makes it different is the pace to carefully embrace and indulge in the ordinary teen romance without any burden of grand gestures or romantic set-pieces.
The long-distance romance comes a little later in the story. The narrative begins a few months prior when the independent Ann meets Geez, a charming backstreet musician who gets immediately smitten to her. Geez comes as a sweet disruption in Ann’s relatively calm life; meanwhile, Ann gives Geez a new purpose to live beyond his suffocating life—hassled by his one-dimensional dominatrix mother (Dewi Rezer). There’s a particular backstory to the mean matriarch storyline, but it’s better to leave it be. Apparently, she’s the one to finally orchestrate the bitter side of Geez & Ann‘s blooming romance. Unknowing of her son’s double life, the mother plans to save Geez to study in Germany, putting the young love to an immeasurable test.
Related Post: Review: Dear Nathan (2017)
Geez & Ann takes all the time to highlight the chemistry between Roberts and Hanggini without rushing their characters into a full-fledged relationship. The titular characters will spend time texting and dating like an ordinary young couple will do. Some occasional flirts with cheesy dialogues might come and go; but, over-the-top romantic gestures are mostly absent (at least until the third act). Hanggini stunningly impresses with a subtle performance in her debut to counter-balance Roberts‘s heart-throbbing charm. Their chemistry is sufficient and believable, even without any drumming spectacles.
There’s barely fluctuation in Geez and Ann’s budding romance until the impending long-distance relationship arrives. At this segment, the story’s tendency for time-skips doubles down with Roberts basically MIA except for some occasional text messages. Geez & Ann spends time mostly with Ann as she’s coping with the absence of her lover. This will leave some loose threads hanging without meaningful elaborations. It feels a little anti-climactic given the carefully built conflicts that cones in the distance and the social status. Seemingly, Geez & Ann saves up some conflicts and resolutions for a hinted sequel (the source material spawned two more books in the shelf) but the cost is a little high if not for Hanggini‘s constant showcase of prowess in the process.