The Jakarta Post
Calling all die-hard Shaheer Sheikh fans (and secret admirers): Turis Romantis is now appearing on local screens.
Turis Romantis, or Romantic Tourist, is a light, no-brainer romantic-comedy flick by tyro director Senoaji Julius, with prominent filmmaker Hanung Bramantyo (Soekarno, Get Married) on board as producer.
Taking place in the tourist town of Yogyakarta, the film begins with tomboy Nabil, ' played naturally by the underappreciated Kirana Larasati (Perempuan Punya Cerita, English title: Women Have Stories) ' risking it all to repay a Rp 200 million (US$15,400) debt to Takur, a loan shark (Mike Lucock), within five days.
The debt isn't hers, but her father's ' a person who Nabil thinks has caused nothing but trouble to the family.
Nabil takes over the debt out of love and respect for her mother (Retno Yunitawati), a naÃ¯ve and simple wife who is deeply in love with her man ' no matter what.
Although Nabil lands a job offer from a friend as a tour guide, she quickly realizes the money that she'll earn won't be enough. But she gives it a try anyway.
Of four tourists that Nabil is to guide, only one eventually arrives: Azan Khan from India.
Knowing that her client is Indian, which reminds her of the merciless Takur, Nabil loses hope. With a heavy heart, Nabil goes to the airport to pick up Azan.
Like any romantic comedy movie, the real story just gets started at this point.
Nabil takes Azan to Yogyakarta's famous tourist spots, but Azan asks to be taken to places that aren't too touristy, but rather that are exotic and romantic.
Cautious, Nabil thinks too much about Azan's request. She feels like Azan is looking for 'adult entertainment'.
After hours of clueless wandering around Yogyakarta over the misunderstanding, Azan finally explains what he means.
Pulling out a photograph that portrays Azan's grandfather somewhere in Yogyakarta, Azan asks Nabil if she knows the place. In the picture, Azan's late grandfather wrote that he was in 'the most romantic place' in Yogyakarta.
Taking the lead from her mother, Nabil takes Azan to the place. From there, Azan decides to look for his grandfather's tomb so he can take his grandfather's remains to India.
Confused, Nabil doesn't get Azan's plan. For her, a tomb is just a tomb. Yet, for Azan, bringing back his grandfather's remains is an act of respect for his beloved grandmother, who, like Nabil's mom, loves her husband unconditionally.
As bringing the remains to India will cost Azan about $5,000, Azan decides to sell his precious gemstone ' coincidentally, for Rp 200 million.
Knowing that Azan has the amount of money that Nabil needs, the girl stands at a crossroads.
Turis Romantis offers a handsome leading man in Shaheer Sheikh. The 31-year-old gained popularity among Indonesians, thanks to his Arjuna character in the imported Mahabharata series aired on local television.
Coming from a country that has strong dramatic element in its film industry, Sheikh gives an effortless performance throughout the film, including when speaking Indonesian. He also has good chemistry with Kirana, who is familiar with tough-girl characters.
In terms of setting and storytelling, the film is nothing special. It evinces a production quality similar to a made-for-television movie (FTV). However, thanks to Hanung's touch, comedic scenes give a decent color to the film.
Finally, Sheikh also contributed several songs to the film's soundtrack, such as 'Dimanakah Dirimu?' (Where Are You?) and 'Romantis' (Romantic), written by Pongki Barata of The Dance Company pop band.
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