Tuesday, February 28, 2017

(GALA PREMIERE) Galih dan Ratna - Re-imagining of A 1979 Classic Indonesian Movie

Last night, I was lucky enough that my wife had got access to the Gala Premiere of a new movie in Senayan City. Actually this was not the first time we went to such event, but it had been few years since the last time both of us attended a Gala Premiere of Indonesian movie. Anyway, by the time I finished dinner with my wife, we went inside the cinema to queue for registration and it was already filled with lots of people.  After having ourselves registered, we had to wait up to 7.15PM till the door to cinema 2 was opened. Then all of us went inside and chose the seats to our preference (yes, there was no seat allocation in this kind of event). My wife and I managed to get our favorite seats on the top row and we waited patiently till the brief introduction of the movie stars and crew and the film finally started at 7.45PM. So let us get on with the movie now, shall we?

Brief Story Line

Ratna (Sheryl Sheinafia - Koala Kumal) had to leave Jakarta and move to Bogor to live with her aunt Tantri (Marissa Anita - Selamat Pagi, Malam) since her father, Oka (Hengky Tornando - Saur Sepuh, Salah Bodi etc) had been assigned to work in Australia. Ratna had to adjust to a totally new environment of a different city and later on new school and new friends.
Galih (Refal Hady - Drama Queen Sinetron) was a high school student whose father had passed away for many years and left his mother (Ayu Dyah Pasha - Surat Cinta Untuk Kartini, ILY From 38.000 FT etc) with no choice but to work hard to finance the school and living cost. Galih always spent his time after school to look after an old Cassette tapes store which was his father's legacy. Due to the financial constraint, Galih had to apply for scholarship in order to continue his study in the university. The principal (Sari Koeswoyo - Mau Dong Ah) had allowed Galih to join the program but he had to always maintain his grades to avoid revocation of the scholarship.

When Ratna first came to school, she was introduced as a new student by the teacher Pak Dedy (Joko Anwar - director of films such as Modus Anomali, A Copy of My Mind, Halfworlds season 1 TV series). Two other students named Erlin (Stella Lee) and Mimi (Rain Chudori) immediately became her best friends. Ratna seemed to take an interest on Galih who she felt was mysterious, though Erlin and Mimi tried to hook her up with Brian the basketball player or Anto the "entrepreneur".

After getting to know one another, Ratna found out that Galih was a person who take vintage thing like cassette tapes, walkman and old songs very seriously which were all because of his father's influence. Through some memorable moments, Galih finally able to win Ratna's heart. During those times, Ratna tried to convince Galih to continue working on making sure the cassette store becoming a success despite difficulty in finding out people who still want to buy them. Not to mention Galih's mother's intention of selling the store. Meanwhile Galih also tried to convince Ratna to take music major rather than business as he believed her to have a very good talent.

So could the cassette store be a success? Would Galih be able to maintain his grades and continue to go to college through scholarship program? Would Ratna be able to pursue her dreams to learn music? And would they be able to continue their relationship? You would find all the answers to the above after you finish this interesting teenagers romance movie.

End of Brief Story Line

After watching the movie, my wife and I felt that there were quite a lot of funny moments which usually involve Anto, or the high school friends of Galih and Ratna. The acting of the stars were actually very good and natural. I believed that Refal Hady and Sheryl Sheinafia were able to portray the modern day high school students who were in love with one another. Kudos to the director Lucky Kuswandi for ensuring the acting came out naturally (Lucky was considered one of the promising young director in Indonesia whose notable works include Madame X and Selamat Pagi, Malam). I also loved the characters of Anto, Pak Dedy and also Sopir Angkot.

In addition, the movie was filled with many songs and music which some of them were sung by Sheryl herself. The 2 songs which were the trademark of this movie would certainly be Galih & Ratna and Gita Cinta which were a modern remake of the songs from the original movie in 1979.

Talking about the original movie, I could not help but to compare with that one, which I just saw a day before through online streaming. The 1979 movie was adapted from the novel Gita Cinta Cari SMA written by Eddy D. Iskandar and having a much heavier subject with a more tragic conclusion. This 2017 version was lighter and having only some parts of the story, which is why at the end credit scene, it was stated that the movie was inspired by the novel. So the director never claimed this movie to be an adaptation and therefore, audience including myself could not (and should not) make an apple to apple comparison. The new version was certainly created to reflect a modern and more relevant condition, such as the reference to social media like Instagram or Twitter and the way the young generation have creativity in making money, plus the interest on vintage items.

Apart from the above, the movie itself was having almost 2 hours length which felt a little bit too long. Perhaps it was due to the fact that the movie need to show some sponsors' items (sometimes a little too obvious) in various scenes. It would probably be even better had the movie duration was shorter. Oh ya, there was also minor or cameo performance by some well known actor/actress/public figures such as Indra Birowo, Abdee Slank, Indra Bekti, even Rano Karno and Yessy Gusman (who played as Galih and Ratna in the original movie).

For people who have seen and enjoyed the original movie back in 1979 or in later years perhaps from TV, need to have an open mind and see the movie as something new. For the younger generation who had not seen this movie before, or perhaps not even heard about this, can definitely enjoy the movie, as it had all the qualities that would be appreciated, such as the good looking cast, romantic moments, lovely sceneries, funny remarks and tons of nice love songs.

One thing that was truly memorable from the moments we experienced during this Gala Premiere was the time when my wife were circling around after the movie to take pictures with some of the stars who were still in the cinema. Below are some of the pictures we have taken. Guess which one was my wife's favorite moment! LOL.

So if you are looking for this kind of teenagers romantic drama movie, then be ready, cause it will premiere in Indonesian theaters starting from 9 March 2017 onwards.

Happy watching!

Mike's movie moments rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The novel Gita Cinta Dari SMA was so popular that it was also made into musical show and TV series. The writer Eddy D. Iskandar had written and directed various teenagers movies in the late 1970s and early 1980s and 1990s such as Cowok Komersil, Roman Picisan, Si Kabayan Saba Kota and so on.

Special Thanks to Sendi Sugiharto for the opportunity. Looking forward to future exciting events.

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