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‘Ada Apa dengan Cinta 2’: Long-awaited sequel doesn’t disappoint

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak
Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, April 29, 2016 | 04:03 pm
‘Ada Apa dengan Cinta 2’: Long-awaited sequel doesn’t disappoint

After 14 years of wild speculation over what would become of Cinta and Rangga, fans finally get an answer in "Ada Apa dengan Cinta 2" (What’s Up with Cinta 2 ) in cinemas from April 28. (Primeworks Studios via The Star/-)

The only disappointment about the latest film from dynamic duo Mira Lesmana and Riri Riza is that the next sequel will no doubt take another light year to appear.

After 14 years of wild speculation over what would become of Cinta and Rangga, fans finally get an answer in Ada Apa dengan Cinta 2 (What’s Up with Cinta 2) in cinemas from April 28.

The ending was clean and clear, dispelling any doubt lingering that the film is a farewell to the iconic characters as they end their long and arduous journey to true love.

But even so, old fans and new acquaintances alike will enjoy this film for at least five other reasons.

The first reason is the girls of Cinta’s clique. Old fans will see how the friendship between high-schoolers Cinta (Dian Sastrowardoyo), Alya (Ladya Cheryll), Carmen (Adinia Wirasti), Maura (Titi Kamal) and Milly (Sissy Prescillia) has evolved into a tight-knit sisterhood. 

Events in the meantime may have created some bones of contention between them, including the reason Alya does not appear in the sequel, but this adversity, instead of splintering the group, has instead increased the bonds of inter-reliance. This reason alone will surely bring hordes of BFF groups stampeding into the cinema.

Reason number two is none other than Rangga (Nicholas Saputra). He’s been transformed from a mournful, ultra-cute teenager who loves poetry into a mournful, ruggedly handsome adult with a dream job (he’s a columnist currently writing a book of poems with photo illustrations, when not sitting around the café he owns in downtown New York) – which brings us to number three.

The scenes of downtown Big Apple, no matter how brief, are the kind of thing travelers, not vacationers, like to experience – the exactly same feeling brought about by the shots of Yogyakarta. Instead of looking at the landmarks of the region where the oldest Javanese kingdom still reigns, the film exposes the indie, underground world of Jogja pop culture. 

The film gives deserving space to hip-hop community Jogja Ora Didol  Jogja Is Not For Sale), the gallery of contemporary artist Eko Nugroho, the unique café Klinik Kopi where customers are treated to lectures on Indonesian coffee and the breathtaking sunrise from Punthuk Setumbu hill and its bird-shaped viewing deck.

The fourth reason is the script, written by Mira Lesmana, who doubled as producer. The lines are lively and smart, funny at the right time and poignant at unexpected moments. A conversation about the last presidential election breaks the initial ice between Rangga and Cinta, as well as between the movie and the audience.

Last, but definitely not least, is the execution of the film. Director Riri Riza (Gie, Laskar Pelangi) is at his best, playing with the visual tones and hooking songs (scores and soundtracks are made by married couple Anto Hoed and Melly Goeslaw) into scenes with consummate grace.

Product placements are neatly arranged so as not to disturb the storyline, while the characters are believable, as if the cast lived in them – an assumption not entirely wrong, because each contributed to the perfection of their own lines.

As the screen dimmed and the lights came on after the press screening, the director of the first Ada Apa dengan Cinta?, Rudi Soedjarwo, congratulated and hugged Mira and Riri, who were sitting next to him.

This film could create a new phenomenon, emulating its predecessor, which reawakened the industry from its early-millennium doldrums and stayed in cinemas for four solid months. 

It will be the first Indonesian film to see merchandise sold at cinemas and is booked at over 180 screens nationwide, including both chains and non-group theaters. It will be released on the same date in Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.

There could be more reasons to watch the film again and again, as I personally have my own number six that only girlfriends could agree to. That said, this is not a chick flick per se. 

Movie buffs are treated to a work that surpasses Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and its sequel, 15 years later, Before Sunset, because Ada Apa dengan Cinta 2 transcends gender and generational divisions.

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