Film Review: Rectoverso

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Title: Rectoverso
Language: Indonesian (with English subtitles)
Directors: Marcella Zalianty, Rachel Maryam, Cathy Sharon, Olga Lydia, and Happy Salma
Casts: Lukman Sardi, Aca Setriasa, Yama Carlos, Prisia Nasution, Asmirandah, Sophia Latjuba, Indra Birowo, etc.

image taken from wikipedia

Review:
Rectoverso is supposed to be anthology film based on the musical album by Dee (Dewi Lestari). Having the tagline “The Unspoken Love”, there are five short stories in this film: Malaikat Juga Tahu (Even The Angels Know), Firasat (Premonition), Cicak di Dinding (The House Lizard in The Wall), Curhat Buat Sahabat (A Chat with A Buddy), and Hanya Isyarat (Only Signals). I was having a difficult time writing this review to you guys, literally. I am afraid I had too much expectation before i watched this film.
First of all, I like Dewi Lestari. I love her books, her attitude and her tweets. But this film did nothing for me. I know, and I’ve heard many people said that this is a great film, and I believe this COULD be a great film.
I’ve seen few anthologies: “Love Actually”, “New York I Love You”, “Paris Je t’aime”, “4Bia”, “4Bia2” and from Indonesia, I’ve seen “Perempuan Punya Cerita” (Women Have Stories). And they are great films. Even 4Bia and 4Bia2, which are horror anthology from Thailand, were greatly produced. I wondered what was wrong with Rectoverso.
I don’t think it was the amount of short stories. Paris Je t’aime had more shorter stories and they could have lots of strong memorable stories. Or maybe the format? Not really. Love Actually also had more or less the same format to this film – where the stories were broken to smaller fragments and stitched together as if it was in one story. So, was it the stories? I still don’t think so, I believe Dee Lestari is a great storyteller and I loved most of her works.
So what’s the problem?
I think it’s bits of everything. It’s not the format it’s how the editor cut and stitch the story which made each of the story never reached the real climax. It’s not the amount of the story but how each of the story was made too slow at the beginning and rushing to the end so they have lost their essence. Instead of digging deep to the issue the story wanted to present, it just literally blurted out what’s in the book without actually interpret the meaning.
It’s a shame that the film has so much potential but as the result it’s “not there yet”. It’s a shame that the film has flooded with Indonesians top actors and actresses but they never had the chance to show off their true talents. It’s a shame that five renowned directors couldn’t bring the best out of this film.
However, I should give the highest praise to Lukman Sardi for his role as Abang in Malaikat Juga Tahu. Actually, this is the only strong and memorable character I could think of in this film alone.
Like what I said, it could be great. But it’s not there yet. Would I give high rating to this film? I am afraid I wouldn’t. Would I recommend this to my reader? I will let you watch, with a warning: “do not expect too much”.

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