Tag Archives: Romance

Critical Eleven (2017): An Anti-Romance Romance Film

Review: With a title referring to an aviation term, critical eleven – three minutes after taking off and eight minutes before landing, where a plane is at the highest risk of crashing – Critical Eleven is not an actual film about flights; instead, it is a romantic manifestation of those critical minutes in a relationship.

According to the film (adapted from Ika Natassa’s bestseller of the same title), the same term is applicable to a meet cute as well; first three minutes of crafting impression, and final eight of leaving impression. And yet, the very same term is also applicable to enjoying this story, too. If the first three minutes (not exactly) gets you enthralled, you’ll desperately need to get prepared for the final eight minutes.  Continue reading Critical Eleven (2017): An Anti-Romance Romance Film

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A Silent Voice / 聲の形 / Koe no Katachi (2017) – Review

Review: In its 130-min duration, Koe no Katachi a.k.a. A Silent Voice tackles a complex coming-of-age drama of consequences, self-alienation and reconciliation. Sometimes it staggers, sometimes it falls into melodrama; but, in the end, it passes a meandering way with subtlety and grounded intricacy.

Naoko Yamada’s first feature is adapted from a manga series by Yoshitoki Oima. The story orbits on a bittersweet connection between Shoya Ishida (voiced by Miyu Irino) and Shoko Nishimiya (Saori Hayami). As a kid, Shoya, not knowing the consequences of his deeds, bullies and abuses hearing-impaired Shoko. When consequences finally catch him up, all he has done to Shoko return to haunt him – excommunication, persecution, and all. Since then, he decides to prefer solitary, avoid contacts with people, and alienate himself from society. Continue reading A Silent Voice / 聲の形 / Koe no Katachi (2017) – Review

Dear Nathan (2017): A grey-and-white meet-cute

Review: Dear Nathan is a clear-cut boy-meet-a-girl story. A bon-chic-bon-genre girl, Salma (Amanda Rawles) unexpectedly meets a violent, rich yet troubled greaser, Nathan (Jefri Nichol), after both come late for school with opposite reasons. Salma’s simple act of compassion, to which Nathan returns with a completely different act of valor, leads these two youngsters into the offspring of coming-of-age romance fraught with cute moments and teen angst at once.

People are aware that coming-of-age romance is prone to uninviting clichés and hormone-induced exaggeration. With all those traits, there’s this thought that this genre is designed solely to its target audiences – adolescences, mostly adolescent girls; and, audiences outside that circle (adolescent boys and grown-ups) will find it tedious and delusional. On the surface, Dear Nathan – adapted from a sensation-laden Wattpad phenomenon – is exactly ‘that kind of coming-of-age romance.’ It’s cliché-ridden, saccharine-laced and unfocused; but it’s grounded to reality and, more importantly, accurate. Continue reading Dear Nathan (2017): A grey-and-white meet-cute

Passengers (2016) – Review

Review: “Kita adalah sepasang kekasih yang pertama bercinta di luar angkasa. Seperti takkan pernah pulang, kau membias di udara dan terhempaskan cahaya…”

That piece of beautiful metaphor-ridden lyrics from Indonesian indie hero, Melancholic Bitch, heaves as my mind  attempts to internalize the whole sense in Morten Tyldum’s Passengers. Roughly, those lyrics tells a story of the first couple of lovers, who make love in space despite the tragic life they’re living in. Sounds familiar It’s Passengers’ plot in brief.

Passengers is a journey, an unexpected journey set in Avalon, a starship transporting 5000 cryo-sleeping passengers to Homestead II, a new human colony, 120 years away from Earth. Unfortunately, a malfunctioned pod accidentally wakes a passenger, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), 90 years before the arrival. The closest help is 30 years away behind him; the fastest assistance he can have needs 55 years to reach him. Out of isolation, Jim befriends a bartender android, Arthur (Michael Sheen), and does whatever he can do with the facilities, e.g., playing basketball, watching films, playing augmented reality game, or space-walking. Bottom line: he is isolated from “living” human. Continue reading Passengers (2016) – Review

Your Name / 君の名は。/ Kimi no na wa (2016) – Review

Review: The “Makoto Shinkai is the new Hayao Miyazaki” buzz embarks again when his latest feature, Kimi no na wa, or as known as Your Name storms Japanese box office recently. Shinkai (5 Centimeters per Second, Children who Chase Lost Voices, The Garden of Words) is always known for his penchant in crafting picturesque, hyperrealistic 2D animation with heart-wrenching story and viable imagination, which transcends in his natural approach.

Shinkai’s works often radiate idyll from the inside, simultaneously emanate visceral, candid narrative. Kimi no na wa / Your Name is no different; only you might bet that it comes from Shinkai’s wildest dream, rather than from his sober contemplation. It might initially look like a usual gender-swapping drama, but as it goes, it unravels more: from time-travel to disaster-drama and quest for love.  Continue reading Your Name / 君の名は。/ Kimi no na wa (2016) – Review

Terjebak Nostalgia (2016) – Review

Review: Love is magic… in the world where going to New York from Jakarta is as easy as jumping blocks. It’s the world where Terjebak Nostalgia, a film inspired by Raisa’s song, takes place. This Nicholas Sparks-esque love triangle drama is saccharine-laced, and it’s stick to the title at its entirety.

Terjebak Nostalgia revolves around the life of a rising singer, Raisa (Raisa Andriana), in one of the most bizzare time in her life. She’s in love with her long-time lover, Sora (Maruli Tampubolon), a musician who shares mutual dream with Raisa. In achieving that dream, Sora leaves to New York with a sacred promise to return. Across the ocean, Sora keeps sending perfume-sprayed letters to Raisa, who waits impatiently in Jakarta.

The unexpected happens. Sora never returns to Jakarta; never holds on to his word; never makes the dream coming true. Continue reading Terjebak Nostalgia (2016) – Review