Daily Archives: 11/16/2004

Festival Film Indonesia 2004 – My Takes!

How can I miss this information on the nominations of this long-awaited Festival Film Indonesia (FFI) 2004? And how can they create such a list of nominations? Before I complain any further, be prepared! It’s Nauval at his film-buff’est’ (if there’s such a word) commenting on this year’s FFI!

Best Film:

– Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?

– Arisan!

– Biola Tak Berdawai

– Ca Bau Kan

– Eliana, Eliana

– Pasir Berbisik

Nauval says:

Isn’t it obvious that the list itself represents the outstanding works of Indonesian rising film industry for the past half a decade?

Count out AADC? for its phenomenal box-office takings which may not appeal to the festival members.

Leave with 5, it’s a matter of whether the darling judges will go to literary work (Ca Bau Kan) that raised the furor from the author himself for butchering some essential elements from the novel, or to art-y work (Pasir Berbisik) that puts a 2-hour journey of watching into a long, endless trip, or to supposedly dramatical work that seems to stand still (Biola Tak Berdawai).

I will always root for Eliana, Eliana for its rich and deep socio-cultural context presented in a very subtle and convincing manner yet very easy to digest, the main problem lies on the film itself being marketed as an ‘indie’ flick targeted for a very limited number of audience.

The safest take? For its daring breakthrough wrapped in such a candy-for-the-eye presentation, Arisan! will sweep of the jury’s feet over its lovable and charming story that appease to everyone.

Will win: Arisan!

Should win: Eliana, Eliana

Should have been nominated : (none)

Best Director:

– Nan Achnas : Pasir Berbisik

– Nia DiNata : Ca Bau Kan

– Riri Riza : Eliana, Eliana

– Rudy Sudjarwo : Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?

Nauval says:

Wow! What a battle of genders!

I tip my hat off to Rudy for bringing in a fresh look at how a good teen flick should be, as well as to Riri Riza for his most mature work to date in a flick that could only be made after such a long thoughtful process of observation on the life itself.

However, showy works shall prevail, and no directors have gone painstakingly further than Nan and Nia in putting up every single pieces of details in their period flicks. After all, period-theme films always prove to be more difficult to handle and they should get advantages from this fact.

Yet, Nan places herself one step above for injecting a dose of strong feminism and emotional elements in her piece to make up what lacks in Nia’s film (which she puts nicely in her Arisan! to be precise).

Will win : Nan Achnas

Should win : Riri Riza

Should have been nominated : Nia DiNata (Arisan!)

Best Actor:

– Andre Stinky : Kiamat Sudah Dekat

– Ferry Salim : Ca Bau Kan

– Nicholas Saputra : Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?

– Tora Sudiro : Arisan!

Nauval says:

Aaarrgghhhh !!! The weakest category of all !!! Heeelllppp !!! *tutup layar monitor sampe gelep*

Dear members of jury, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??????

I have to calm myself whenever Tora appears on the screen. Not for being other-worldly handsome, but I’ve to calm and prevent myself from tearing the screen into pieces for his horrible dead-panned expression that only enhances his lack of acting skill! Isn’t it just enough for him to get nominated in those popular vote a la MTV Movie Awards? For goodness sake!

Don’t get me started on Andre Stinky! Refer to the second name he’s using here.

Nicholas Saputra slips into his role nicely in his first film (Tora, note that!), although the role itself may be seen as being “too-common” or “too-ordinary”. Sadly, it doesn’t help either if he gets nominated in Biola Tak Berdawai, his Rangga character in AADC? gets into him very well.

Thank God one name deserves to be here!

Ferry Salim has certainly put his nuanced emotion in that seemingly two-dimensional role yet his ability in transforming himself as once a dignified man only to be tortured by his passion will get rewarded nicely at this year’s festival.

Will win: Ferry Salim

Should win : Ferry Salim

Should have been nominated : Slamet Rahardjo (Pasir Berbisik), Jeremias Nyangoen (Kanibal Sumanto)

Best Actress:

– Cut Mini Theo : Arisan!

– Dian Sastrowardoyo : Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?

– Lola Amaria : Ca Bau Kan

– Rachel Maryam : Eliana, Eliana

– Ria Irawan : Biola Tak Berdawai

Nauval says:

Contrary to the male counterpart, this is the toughest category of all!

But a little curiosity here, Dian Sastro in AADC? instead of Pasir Berbisik? If only she got nominated for the latter film, then she would rise up as one of the strong contenders here, but this time, she has to be satisfied being left out earlier in the race.

One of the biggest surprises of my film-watching experience last year is to see Cut Mini Theo steps into the skin of her role in an unbelievably fitting way without being over-acting that I can’t think of any other actress would replace her there. Yet the competition proves to be too stiff for her to grab the coveted prize.

Lola may get notice for her image as one of the prominent figures in the industry rather than her titled role. She has a great deal of emotional scenes which she really stretches her acting skill further, yet they may slip out of our memories easily. After all, Ca Bau Kan is not really centred on the title character, it’s an ensemble piece.

Which of course, not the case for Eliana, Eliana. I fall in love immediately with Rachel Maryam upon seeing her in this film which seems like taking a cab ride together with her role here. As the film clearly focuses on Eliana’s mind and behaviour, Rachel brings the character alive and vivid, she embodies herself as a troubled woman who maintains her dignity despite having to struggle her life upside down. You can feel that the film was created with her in mind.

I try my best not to make any ‘safest’ choice here, but there can only be one award, and Ria Irawan outshine them all. Her experience of over 30 years in this industry seems to be impossible to defeat, she is the kind of actress whom you can always count on for a good performance no matter how small the role is, and her journey of changing characterization in Biola Tak Berdawai makes the film truly watchable.

Will win : Ria Irawan

Should win : Rachel Maryam

Should have been nominated : Dian Sastro (Pasir Berbisik)

Best Supporting Actor:

– Dedy Mizwar : Kiamat Sudah Dekat

– Didi Petet : Pasir Berbisik

– Mang Udel : Pasir Berbisik

– Surya Saputra : Arisan!

Nauval says:

Again, one name is clearly out of place, and that name is none other than Surya! Goodness, can’t they see how uncomfortable he is in the role that requires one to be a whole-hearted gay, but he just can’t make it. Even worse than Tora! Enough said.

Three seniors will compete against each other, but let’s be frank, Dedy Mizwar has been doing this kind of role in television for over a decade, and seeing his performance in Kiamat Sudah Dekat, I don’t see any significant difference.

Leave with two, Mang Udel and Didi Petet, seriously I don’t recall Mang Udel’s presence there! Is it a matter of appearing too briefly or he convinces us in slipping to his role well?

Whatever it is, my vote goes to Didi Petet who goes against the stereotype, he hasn’t done many villainous roles over the years, but it gives me chill during the scene where he persuades Dian Sastro to touch herself. Ain’t that scary?!

Will win : Didi Petet

Should win : Didi Petet

Should have been nominated : Joseph Ginting (Ca Bau Kan), Robby Tumewu (Ca Bau Kan), Alvin Adam (Ca Bau Kan) –> yes, the film is filled with a number of great supporting turns from its actors!

Best Supporting Actress:

– Aida Nurmala : Arisan!

– Henidar Amroe : Eliana, Eliana

– Jajang C. Noer : Eliana, Eliana

– Lulu Dewayanti : Ca Bau Kan

Nauval says:

Can’t help saying this, but … what happens to Christine Hakim in Pasir Berbisik?! Just because she’ll be receiving Lifetime Achievement Award, can’t she just being nominated this time around? Her presence maybe overshadowed by Dian Sastro, but it’s one of her mettiest roles I could recall.

Again, cross out Aida Nurmala! Gee, I feel like somebody should question the casting process of Arisan! Apart from Rachel Maryam and Cut Mini, everyone seem to be out of place there.

Lulu’s role has too little screen time to be taken into consideration and she doesn’t give anything new to her character as a cheapskate whore, and finally, it’s all a deathmatch between the two: Jajang C. Noer and Henidar Amroe in their grittiest roles ever.

Jajang is one consummate artist who constantly gives a terrific performance, no exception is her performance here as a mother who tries to persuade her only daughter to return to their homeland, only to find herself being confronted with the reality of big cities she secretly longs to have. Witnessing her emotional ride on this flick throughout making us feeling emphatized to the characterization of a mother she creates within.

Henidar Amroe doesn’t give too many lines in Eliana, Eliana, but isn’t that the rule of acting? Lines are merely replacements of what our gestures and facial expression can’t deliver, and if we hold on to this rule, then she succeeds in achieving that. She has only one scene, in one setting, yet her presence haunts us long after she’s gone. The way she cries, the way she holds her cigarette are meticulously crafted to reveal her character’s innerself, rather than seeing Henidar tries to act as one.

Tough call.

Will win : Jajang C. Noer

Should win : Henidar Amroe

Should have been nominated : Christine Hakim (Pasir Berbisik), Rachel Maryam (Arisan!)

Best Screenplay:

– Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? by Jujur Pranoto

– Biola Tak Berdawai by Sekar Ayu Asmara

– Ca Bau Kan by Nia DiNata

– Kiamat Sudah Dekat by Musafar Yasin

– Pasir Berbisik by Nan Achnas & Rayya Makarim

Nauval says:

What’s this, good things from Arisan! seem to be left out whenever it is necessary to be nominated?

And the overlook of Eliana, Eliana in this category just happens to be too much to bear! These two films with smart lines peppered here and there have to be mentioned for their original ideas. And by original, I don’t mean to drag on a conversation of necessity in splitting adapted screenplay and original screenplay, but can we take a look at the nominees?

AADC?, while being an above average teen flick as a whole, bears a resemblance to previous decades’ numerous teen films.

Kiamat Sudah Dekat feels like an episode of Dedy Mizwar’s religious television series.

Leave with three other nominees, Ca Bau Kan may suffer a drawback from the strong criticism blurted out by literary clique over the butchering of the original novel which may hinder its potential in grabbing the coveted prize.

Between Biola Tak Berdawai and Pasir Berbisik that venture into the same field of psychological journey of women and their torturing lives, my choice falls on the latter for its strong concept of the pain and the struggle under pressuring atmosphere, with the price that the film may be hard to digest for some.

Will win : Pasir Berbisik

Should win : Ca Bau Kan

Should have been nominated : Eliana, Eliana, Arisan!


Well, whatever the result is, here’s a cheer for FFI, don’t ever stop!

Thank you, Helmy Yahya, it’s well-done!

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Posted by on 11/16/2004 in Film