Film Review: Tenggelamnya Kapal Van Der Wijck


Title: Tenggelamnya Kapal Van Der Wijck
Director: Sunil Soraya
Language: Bahasa (no sub)
Casts: Herjunot Ali, Reza Rahardian, Pevita Pearce

This film was adapted from an Indonesian’s classic literature by Buya Hamka, with the same title. Since the book itself was quite popular, it promised the audience with a good plot, and a very deep cultural settings of Indonesia in the 1930’s, and what was promised have been delivered properly to the audience. But is this a good film?
I beg to differ.
Apart from the brilliant characterisation of Zainuddin and Aziz, I think Pevita Pearce as Nurhayati is a little bit weak (especially compared to her two co-actors). I don’t mind with a very theatrical and overdramatised dialogues in the film, but I think it is not for everybody, for example, the noisy guy sitting in front of me in the cinema he couldn’t help laughing for the dialogue was too theatrical for common people.
I kind of understand the purpose though. In holywood, dialogues from films which were adapted from classic literatures such as Oliver Twist has been made in Old English. However most of the audience understand that it was the Old English accent. I think the director wanted to do the same, but too bad not many people understand that they were using the Old Melayu accent in this film to emphasise the classic value of this film.
Maybe next time, they can modernise the adaptation like what holywood has done to The Christmas Carol, so it would be easier for the majority of Indonesian people to accept and understand the concept.
Many complained for the lighting and cinematography. I think the director wanted it to look and feel old, so we can get the feel. It don’t feel to disturbed with that since it did not affect me that much.
However what disturbed me a lot is the musical score. It is really disturbing. I am not a fan of Nidji, but that’s not the reason why suddenly the vocalist’s voice becomes so annoying during the film show. It was not well orchestrated, it was played in the wrong time with the wrong volume, and just wrong. I think the story is better without it. I suspected that they use Nidji as the selling point, but meh… I said.

Would I recommend this film to anyone? Yes for sure, but please bear in mind that I have told you that the musical scoring is very annoying…
I would like to counter the annoying haters who keep saying that there is no correlation between the title and the plot. Yes there is, and the title is not spoiling anything, that’s as far as I could say.



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