press enter to search

'Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?': 14 years later

Asmara Wreksono
Asmara Wreksono

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta, Indonesia  /  Sat, April 23, 2016  /  11:13 am

Fourteen years after Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? (AADC?, What’s up with Cinta?) was released, Mira Lesmana and Riri Riza are at it again, building hopes and breaking the hearts of the nation’s thirty-somethings, who still wonder: will Rangga and Cinta eventually unite as lovers?

The first installment of the iconic teenage love story ended with the male protagonist, Rangga, flying to New York with his activist father and promising Cinta to return in three full-moons after giving her a passionate kiss; a controversial scene that propelled Nicholas Saputra and Dian Sastrowardoyo into Indonesian movie superstardom.

Now part of the movie elite in their own right, Nicholas and Dian are reunited in the sequel of AADC?, which will provide the answers to the questions lingering for more than a decade. One of the most popular questions besides the possibility of reunion and reconciliation between Rangga and Cinta is: what happened between them, really? Did Rangga really return after three full moons as promised? Did they ever go steady? Why are they still single?

Thejakartapost.com met movie creators, Mira Lesmana and Riri Riza and actors Dian Sastrowardoyo and Nicholas Saputra in the Miles Productions offices and, as friendly as they were, the AADC? team remained tightlipped about the movie’s plot.

Mira admitted to only thinking about the possibility of a sequel in 2012, after the 10th anniversary celebration of the first AADC? movie.

“That anniversary event was the time we saw them [the cast] together again and there was still great chemistry. At the same time, I also saw interesting personal development in them. Seeing them together, looking at the chemistry, seeing mature Cinta and the gang, mature Rangga, was when the idea came up,” Mira said.

Mira also noted her love for movies with long time-span productions, such as Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which was filmed over a span of 12 years. Also, from the same director, Before Sunset and Before Sunrise, which have a nine-year gap between the original and the sequel, appealed to Mira as a filmmaker.

“For us, I think that was the time when we thought ‘this is it’, you know; it’s a great reunion for that amount of time. It’s exciting,” she chuckled.

Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? 2 was filmed in three locations; Jakarta, Yogyakarta and New York. However, Riri avoided clichés in taking decisions about the locations.

“That’s the challenge because we didn’t want to portray New York as the stereotype New York with the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building; where people think that someone who lives in New York becomes rich. It still has to be based on the character,” Riri said.

Nicholas transformed back into Rangga in the current setting with ease, although he had trouble verbalizing how difficult or easy it was to play Rangga again after 14 years. Nicholas tried explaining, “I wouldn’t say it’s harder or easier, I can’t really tell. I don’t know, actually. But it’s exciting because there’s a room for interpretation, exploration, research and also the relationships between Rangga and the other characters. I think that’s very exciting.”

Dian relied on her fellow cast member, Adinia Wirasti, when playing Cinta who grew over the decade into the same but different Cinta. She noted, “Asti taught me this method in drawing all the small events, small details in the character’s life within the 14 years that haven’t been told. Because, although we’re not filming them, all those memories must have to be there at the back of our heads when filming the present-day Cinta and Rangga. Because, yes they are the same people, yet different at the same time. A person must have gone through a lot in 14 years, so that was our task in playing the current characters.”

Gala premiering in Yogyakarta on April 23, Mira noted the specific reason why she chose Yogyakarta as the venue for the gala, “Having filmed most of the movie in Yogyakarta, we want to celebrate with our fans in Yogyakarta this time and it’s really exciting.”

Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 will also premier in Jakarta and neighboring Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam on the same day, April 28.