Habibie & Ainun (2012)

This is a biographical movie telling the love story of the former Indonesian president, B. J. Habibie and his one and only wife, the late Hasri Ainun Besari (later Ainun Habibie). Adapted from a book with the same title, written by Habibie himself, this movie takes the audience into a roller-coaster of emotion revolving around their life. Going back to the days when they were together in high school, the movie portrays further their life onwards up to the day Ainun passed away, which means this include the day they got married, moved to Germany, and then went back to Indonesia and the day Habibie became the vice president and later, the 3rd president of Indonesia.

“Habibie & Ainun” Movie Poster

The lead actor, Reza Rahadian, is one of the main reason I so badly wanted to see this movie. I saw him acted before in three different movies which I’ve come to like: Alangkah Lucunya (Negeri Ini), 3 Hati 2 Dunia 1 Cinta, and Tanda Tanya, and his performance in this movie haven’t change my opinion of how good he is as an actor. I never really saw him act like he was in the movie–he became a completely different person, with a different attitude and even the way he altered his intonation and articulation when he speak is brilliantly meticulous. Of course, I might be clouded by me being a fan of his already, but I do think it deserves an applause.

As for the lead actress, the prominent Indonesian actress Bunga Citra Lestari played Habibie’s wife, Ainun. I believe that Bunga (also known with her initial: BCL) is a very good and talented actress, and she did played Ainun wonderfully. My favorite scene is probably (SPOILER ALERT!) the one when she got homesick during the early years of her marriage with Habibie, and she tried to hold it back inside, but when her husband asked, she finally spilled and cried. Another one is the scenes when she got diagnosed with ovarian cancer and finally hospitalized. Probably one of the most touching scene throughout the movie, we could see a very strong connection between Habibie and his wife when he got anxious waiting outside the operation room and insisted to get inside and accompanied his wife because he thought she might be worried about him. Then when he finally got in after the operation, he asked gently what got Ainun worried sick. She weakly shook her head when he asked whether she felt any pain (there’s one more question but I forgot), but she finally nodded her head when he asked whether she’d been worried about him instead. Then he reassured her that he’d taken his meds (he was diagnosed with tuberculosis early in the movie, when he was still young). Most certainly, this got me and the girls sitting next to me sobbing badly. And the way BCL depicted Ainun’s last days on bed, when she got very sick that she could not talk and had to struggled hard to merely lift her hands was really touching and brought me into tears. However, I don’t think this movie has really shown the extent of what BCL could do with her act. For me, at least, it’s not enough.

Reza Rahadian as Habibie & BCL as Ainun

One thing that got me pretty disappointed is the lack of a full portrayal of the time when Habibie got involved in politics and then elected as the vice-president to the late Soeharto. All we see is Habibie got home one day after the night before promising Ainun a cruise trip, telling her that they might have to delay that because he’s gonna be the vice president of Indonesia. Of course, later I remembered that this is a story of both Habibie AND Ainun, not just Habibie himself, but still, I was hoping they would show more of his journey of becoming the vice president. But again, I haven’t really read the book itself, Habibie & Ainun, so I don’t really know whether Habibie also wrote a lot about that one as well or not.

But overall, I really enjoy the movie, and despite usually preferring other movies than a cliché and cheesy romance, I’d definitely looking forward to buy the DVD later. …or maybe I again got clouded by this idea that no matter how cheesy these romances are, they did happened for real.

I’m not sure whether this is a movie guys would want to see because I know several guys who did watched it and liked it, and I also know those who lacked interest in watching it (which made it so hard for me to find companion to watch it), but I’d definitely recommend this movie.

FYI, this movie is delivered in two different languages: Bahasa Indonesia and Germany, but movies like this usually got me in doubt of how good the foreign language is in the movie (in this case, the Germany language), so I don’t know whether the Germany spoken by Indonesians in the movie a natural, good Germany or a broken one instead, but considering the frequency of the language spoken (which is a lot), I’d assumed that it has to be quite good, at least.

P.S. Oh, and this is definitely a tearjerker.

Waiting For Forever (2010)

I told you I’m pretty outdated.

Actually, I wasn’t meaning to write anything about this movie at all. But I met a friend one day, and as we hang out with other friends and exchanged some movies, she told us all that one movie that she didn’t like despite everybody around her (including me) claimed to like it is this one movie: Waiting For Forever.

And I was like, “What?”

I hate myself when I getting biased like this.

But I feel the urge to discuss, if not argue, this with her.

So I thought I’d write a little something-something about the movie–well, about what I think of the movie, to be precise.

Just in case, I’m writing down a summary of the plot below:

Waiting For Forever tells a story of Will Donner who harbor unrequited love for his childhood best friend, Emma Twist. He’d been in love with her for as long as he could remember. To be precise, he’d been in love with her ever since they were kids. Somehow, this unrequited love reached a phase where Will would “go where Emma’d go.” Put it in a simpler way: he was stalking her.

I didn’t remember whether the movie stated precisely when he started to stalk her (I think it was stated), but it’s been going on for quite a while. Will’s profession as a clown (or entertainer?) allowed him to travel to different places often, which at the same time allowed him to “stalk” Emma.

Everybody but Emma, seemed to know about Will’s unrequited love. Everybody in the town where they grew up. Will’s childhood friend, Joe, and his wife supported Will to express his love for Emma, as well as his brother’s wife. Unfortunately, his own older brother, Jim, didn’t really show the same support and love. In fact, he considered his little brother to be mentally disturbed and kind of a loser, since Will indeed, never earn much and he’s practically homeless due to stalking Emma to various places. He considered Will’s love stupid and well as Will himself.

Makes sense, I thought, since apparently, not only homeless and worry for nothing in the world, Will indeed looked like pretty much mentally disturbed to me, from the way he talked to empty spaces, and stalking Emma. It turns out, later in the move, after Emma asked him why he kept talking to empty spaces around him, Will said that Emma made him believe that his dead parents were always be with him wherever he goes, and he really took the words literally. Will’s parents died when he was a little kid, and he was pretty damn sad about it. The way Emma comforted him and stayed by his side during the saddest time of his life was perhaps the source of his obsession for Emma.

Anyway, I won’t give the complete summary since if you hadn’t watched the movie you probably wouldn’t wanna read any spoiler, and if you had watched it, you’d probably knew the ending already.

I knew that despite I know many people who like this movie a lot, the movie itself had received negative reviews. And I admit that the storyline is indeed, very cheesy.

It’s this silly, unrealistic love story of a madman.

Seriously, if I ever met a guy like Will, stalking me like that, I’d call the police and make sure to bring a pepper spray and an army knife with me everywhere I go to make sure he wouldn’t get any closer to me.

But what interest me is the… eeerrrr…, disposition of each character–the main character, to be precise.

Tom Sturridge as Will Donner

First of all, Will is this gentle, if not soft and weak guy, who believed that he’s born to love Emma for eternity. A guy who seems so naive that he believes in true love and that there could be no other one for him but Emma. And that he lives for Emma alone, which is why, being rich and successful hardly jumped to his mind. He chose to be a clown (or entertainer??) so that he could follow Emma wherever she goes, and to show off his skill in juggling and such. Ever since they were kids, Will always shows off in front of Emma, and Emma was always impressed. Then the fact that he believes Emma that his deceased parents would be by his side forever, just prove how naive (if not stupid) he really was. God, that creeps the hell out of me.

Jimbo

And Will has this brother, Jim, a.k.a. Jimbo, who’s the complete opposite of him. He’s bitter and sarcastic at first, and a bit rude, if not cruel, towards his own brother. You’d think he’s a complete jerk for neglecting his brother, but in fact, as the story goes, it’s shown that Jim was only trying to protect his brother by trying to be the mature one. And with someone like Will as a brother, really, someone has to choose to grow up, and if Will’s not the one, Jim’s gotta be. Then when you’ve had too much of Will (he might have had to deal with Will’s foolishness for years and years), it’s no wonder if you’d feel fed up one day. I guess Jim got tired of looking after his brother, and thought it’s time to teach his younger brother some responsibility.

You could already assume that the two brothers were not in a good term.

What really got me was actually this one scene of revelation were Jim bailed Will out of the jail (Will was suspected of a murder, which was not true at all), and on their way to the airport in order to get home, they reconciled inside the taxi. Wow. I wouldn’t wanna be the taxi driver.

But they reconciled, and that’s probably my favorite scene ever.

Apparently, their parents were not this perfect, loving parents that Will used to describe. From Jim we learned that their mother was actually a drunk, and that every Tuesday, their dad would take their mom to some kind of rehab, and telling their kids instead that they were going to see the matinee. Will was holding onto that belief that his parents were really going to the matinee while Jim insisted on holding onto the truth, and believed that his brother never knew the truth–which leads to his action of hiding the truth from Will. This action, I think, came from an elder brother who got the urge of protecting his younger brother from further sorrow and pain, if I could call it so. Surprisingly, Will revealed then in the taxi that he actually knew the truth, as he told Jim, “There aren’t any matinee on Tuesday, Jim,” and that’s where they finally cried and reconciled as Jim kissed his brother’s forehead with teary eyes.

Will always hold on to a belief that the world is peachy, that the world is beautiful and everything in it is wonderful. The way he told Jim inside the taxi that he knew their mother was drunk and that they never went to any matinee, and when he said later that “The world isn’t always peachy” while he sobbed heavily, was really heart-breaking to me. Then it struck me how the two brothers were such a contrast. They knew the bitter truth about their parents, but one chose to deny it and hide within a naive belief that the world is a nice place. The other one, though, chose to face the truth and dealt with it as he become bitter and bitter about reality and the world.

This makes Jim looks more like the normal person who we used to see in everyday life. He deals with bitterness, and he moves on. Meanwhile, Will… well, he’s running away from it, and decided to built a world of his own, made from naiveness and false reality. At some points, I wanna believe that this partially affects Will’s choice of profession. He didn’t seem to care a bit about tomorrow. If he did, I didn’t really got the impression in the movie. All he cared about is following Emma, and that he earned enough to buy some food for the day. Tomorrow’s another day. Which is why he cared little about where he’d live permanently. And this is why Jim considered him homeless and loser (or something similar to that).

Another thing that really struck me is how the actress and actors interpret their characters and expressed them in the acts. I really like it when Tom Sturridge played a nervous Will, who seemed to struggle so hard only to express his love to Emma. He was shown to be struggling to breathe, and he was trembling like he was going to collapse. And then the teary taxi ride scene, how he cried in the taxi–I was kinda wowed with the act. Of course, seeing a handsome guy like Sturridge cried in tears with fungus coming out of his nose was kinda disgusting, and definitely unpleasant to watch. But the fact that he could sob that bad showed that he’s not just some handsome actor without acting skills. And Scott Mechlowicz’s act as a hostile brother at first to a loving one, was also not bad. Well, I think the teary ride scene really got me.

The teary ride scene
Rachel Bilson as Emma Twist

Frankly speaking, Rachel Bilson’s character somehow didn’t really appeal to me. I mean, she’s okay, and she played her part very well. It’s just her character in the movie didn’t really attract me as much as Sturridge’s Will and Mechlowicz’s Jimbo. It was nice at first, when she seemed to be distressed and troubled, first with her dying father, and then with her meddling mother, and finally with her arrogant boyfriend as well as her childhood friend, Willie. Really, it was good. Yet towards the end, it’s getting… lame. I love the ending, really. It was a nice simple not-so-closed-ending. To me it’s an open-ending, but hey, I’m not the expert anyway. I’m simply someone who loves watching movies. So as an amateur, I love the ending. The thing is, I didn’t really see Emma’s growing affection towards Will. I definitely refused to believe that Emma finally return Will’s unrequited love. I just didn’t see it happen. It’s more like Emma trying to accept Will as he is, and that she (perhaps) is willing to try to, if not to love, understand Will better. To me, Emma’s more like someone who harbor a sisterly affection towards Will, while Will’s definitely love Emma as a woman.

Well, you might protest to that, and it’s really up to you to interpret the movie yourself. In fact, I kinda think maybe I’m taking this interpretation of mine a little too far. You know, perhaps even the director and the script-writer didn’t have the slightest idea of my interpretation and might laughed if they ever read this, thinking how silly my interpretation could be. Anyway, it is cheesy (the silly love story and all), but it doesn’t stop me from getting fond of this movie. I do hope you who watched it enjoy it as much as I do.