At last, after almost 2 weeks playing in theaters, my wife and I finally got the chance to see this movie. There seemed to be always something or some reasons that made us cancel our plan in earlier occasions. Until we decided we would see this one today, on the very last day of the year 2017. So what was the movie all about? Let us find out, shall we?
Brief Story Line
After working many years in a major law firm, Ellen (Adinia Wirasti - Critical Eleven, Kartini etc) and her good friend Iwan (Ernest Prakasa - Ngenest, Stip & Pensil etc) wanted to start their own law firm. To assist them, they hired a young intern named Astrid (Valerie Thomas). As usual in a new firm, there would be various challenges they would have to face.
Ellen was a single mother of a highschool girl named Kiara (newcomer Aurora Ribero). However, Ellen preferred to drown herself in work and left Kiara's upbringing to her mother (Niniek L. Karim - Pacar Ketinggalan Kereta, Sweet 20 etc) which resulted to Ellen and Kiara having very cold relationship. After some major family problem, they both decided to go for a holiday to mend their relationship. Kiara always wanted to go to a lovely place of Sumba in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). But despite having beautiful scenery, the phone signal there was very bad (hence the title Susah Sinyal which literally meant Bad Signal). Things became complicated for Ellen as their firm had their first major case that needed her attention and expertise while she was in Sumba.
So could Ellen find the time to balance her work and her family? Find them all in this warm drama comedy movie.
End of Brief Story Line
I did not want to put down too much detail on the story line as I think it would be best to be seen by yourself. All I can say is that the movie was putting more emphasis on the drama rather than comedy. In his previous movie Cek Toko Sebelah, Ernest Prakasa managed to balance perfectly the drama and the comedy portion into a nice story, while in here, to my personal opinion, the drama felt very strong. Yes there were still his characteristic comedies and smart jokes in this movie but the portion felt less than the other movie.
As a drama movie, Ernest was able to create a good story of mother daughter relationship and he was also able to come up with some touching scenes combined with the jokes that were quite up to date (Though some jokes might not be to everybody's liking). Just like in his earlier works, Ernest also brought the help from some of his comedian friends like Arie Kriting, Abdur Arsyad, Soleh Solihun, Aci Resti, Yusril Fahriza and of course Dodit Mulyanto who played the role of Ngatno. The funniest moments I think were the ones involving Ngatno's character. My wife's favorite was the one scene where he was interacting with Ernest about taking on a client's case.
The cast of this movie were surprisingly pretty large considering the movie's main plot was actually not so complicated. There were appearances of senior actors such as Slamet Rahardjo Djarot, Henky Soelaiman and my personal favorite, Niniek L. Kariem who I thought was very natural playing a grandmother. In addition, there were also supporting casts of Darius Sinathrya, Gading Marten, Gisella Anastasia, Asri Welas, Chew Kin Wah or Refal Hady who played a totally different character from his role in 2017 version of Galih dan Ratna. Most of them I think were quite good in their own roles. Even the singer Andien's brief performance was also nice. However, I feel that Ernest Prakasa's screen time were too little here. Perhaps it was to give more time for Adinia Wirasti to shine. My wife and I believed that she was the best performer in this movie. Her chemistry with Ernest as friends and with Aurora was very good. Basically she seemed truly suitable playing the role of brilliant successful lawyer with relationship problems.
One interesting thing about this movie was that it was promoting the tourism of Sumba island. This is the second time I saw a movie that showed the scenery of this island. The previous one was the movie Marlina Si Pembunuh dalam 4 Babak though it showed mostly the dry land, while here we were shown the beautiful beaches. The end credit scenes in this movie should not be missed as there were quite fun moments as well.
Overall, though Ernest Prakasa might have been associated with comedy movies, his effort of putting up more drama should be highly appreciated. My wife and I personally enjoyed this movie to close the chapter of year 2017. Hopefully there would be more quality Indonesian movies in the future. For those of you looking for a drama comedy movie, this one definitely would be a good option. The choice is yours.
Mike's movie moments rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars