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Food and conversation in 'Aruna and Her Palate'

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, August 28, 2018  /  12:39 pm

Aruna dan Lidahnya (Aruna and Her Palate), a movie about food, friendships and conspiracy, is said to be a dialogue-driven movie as it seeks to prove that such a genre is still engaging to watch.

"I don’t think dialogue will ever be boring because there’s an urgency in delivering it – That’s the job for actors, to find the sense of urgency about why particular words need to be delivered at a certain time,” said Dian Sastrowardoyo, one of the cast members, during a recent interview at The Jakarta Post studio.

Coproducer Muhammad Zaidy said the conversation presented in the film should interest the audience.

“It’s a challenge from [director] Edwin to the actors and [scriptwriter] Titien Wattimena to develop the film in such a way that the dialogue becomes important and engaging,” Zaidy said.

During pre-production, the actors were asked to watch some films, including dialogue-heavy movies, while Dian personally watched Amélie and Sideways to get the feel of having conversations with friends she also read the book to get deeper into Aruna’s mind.

“I can see that she’s an introvert because she doesn’t really express her opinions, but she thinks about them. It makes her somewhat of a pool of information and imagination for her unconscious mind,” Dian said.

Read also: 'Arun and Her Palate' releases trailer, reveals new characters

Edwin, Zaidy and coproducer Meiske Taurisia also discussed other films to strengthen one of its main topics: food.

“There was Eat Drink Man Woman and Lunchbox. We mostly discussed what happened in the film, so it wasn’t only about food, but also the drama that happened,” Zaidy said.

Actor Oka Antara, who plays Farish, described the challenge in his favorite scene, which is when Aruna and Farish argue with each other.

“There was a scene featuring a barongsai [lion dance] where Dian and I had to adjust our breath because we’re following the barongsai. The shooting for the scene lasted from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Oka said.

For Dian, her favorite scene was when she ate kacang kowa or kacang kuah (nuts drowned in thick gingery sauce, served with fried dough). “Although it was a little bit weird I had to act as if it was normal for me. I also had to maintain a poker face in front of Farish,” Dian said.

Adapted from Laksmi Pamuntjak’s () novel of the same name, Aruna and Her Palate also features Hannah Al Rashid as Nad, Nicholas Saputra as Bono, Desta as Pak Burhan and Sarah Azhari as Mbak Priya.

Scheduled to be released on Sept. 27, Aruna and Her Palate is planned as a single project.

“But I’d never say ‘there won’t be any sequel’,” said Zaidy. (kes)

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