Antologi Rasa (2019): A Confusing Love Story

Antologi Rasa (2019)

Casts: Herjunot Ali, Carissa Perusset, Refal Hady
Directed by: Rizal Mantovani
Duration: 1 hour 48 minutes
Based on: Antologi Rasa by Ika Natassa (2011)

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I have never read Ika Natassa’s novels before, but I heard that they were heart-warming and enjoyable to read. It’s always exciting to see books turned into movies because that means the novels were very good that people want to see them transformed into the big screens. So there I was at the cinema, waiting with an open heart to watch Antologi Rasa that is playing now.

The movie was opened with the female lead’s narration about how everybody travels with different purposes. I like the narration, it feels relatable.

“Welcome to my complicated love life!” said Keara, the female lead character.

I was waiting for the story to develop and wished for more relatable scenes. Four highly attractive young people working at the same bank are secretly having feelings towards one another. But it was not reciprocated, because the person that each of them is into has no idea about their feelings.

Harris loves Keara, but she loves Ruly. Meanwhile, Ruly loves Denise, a married woman. The friendship circle could not be more confusing than this. A four-squared love story with someone (or more) being in the friend-zone.

The agonizing pain of being in love with your best friend and not being able to confess that feeling. At the same time, the fear of rejection and the possibility of ruining a friendship scare the hell out of them all. Hell yeah, I’m digging it! I bet a lot of (sad and lonely) people are waiting for some misfortunes to happen to the characters, hahaha.

However, it did not happen. Or at least to me, the so-called love life as uttered by Keara was not that complicated. Things happened indeed, but it was not enough to make me care about the ups and downs that the characters are going through.

Gosh, you sound like a masochist, Keara…

Why didn’t I care enough of their problems? That’s because I fail to see how their friendship grows into secret love. What really made them fall in love with their close friend? Is it the togetherness? Is it loneliness? It cannot be just having someone drive your drunk ass home at night and when you woke up, you saw him praying in the morning.

So many questions in my head that went unanswered. What kind of lives do they have outside the office? Any family? Any friends outside the circle? The only person who has a friend outside the four-square here is only Keara. Dinda was the girl that she opened up to when the friendship became complicated. Even I don’t think Dinda cared that much about Keara and her love life. But hey, her character was not developed well in the movie.

It’s problematic because if the viewers don’t care much about the main characters, who else will? The movie feels like dragging me in uncertainty. I would like to think that it was because of the poor execution coming from the director. Because how could a movie with such a long duration fail to make me care about the characters and their problems?

In real life, nobody is sitting in a line like this before a circular table.

Whether you know or not that your best friend likes you, never do this to him or any straight man ever. You’re leading him to an uncomfortable erection, Keara!

At some point, I also kind of blame Keara for complicating her own love life. I mean, girl… you have been in love with Ruly for four years and you recognize the yearning in his eyes towards Denise. Why can’t you see that (or at least feel it) coming from your BFF Harris? Four freaking years and not a single clue! 

The worse part was she was unknowingly using him when she needed someone to ride her emotional roller-coaster with. Then when Harris agreed to play her game (shut up and kiss me coz I’m drunk and upset), he was being labeled a jerk. Taking advantage of her and so on. Girl, are you crazy?

I don’t know if Keara in the movie is the same person as she is in the novel. Although I don’t like her character in the movie, this very much depicts many girls in real life. These girls giving false hopes and friend-zone their best male friends, then complain about how men are jerks and only know how to hurt their feelings. They do exist in real life, hahaha.

Okay, I might sound too harsh on this. But this is my point of view from someone who never reads the novel, so I’m just going to be reviewing based on the movie. There were scenes that could be potential tear-jerking or gut-wrenching moments to watch. But neither the script nor the acting allowed viewers to feel these emotions. I did not feel enough sympathy for both Keara and Harris when their love interests were not feeling the same way, too.

Is it only me or did I not feel strong chemistry between Herjunot and Carissa who played the two main characters?

I need to read the novel to bring justice to the love story because the movie did not do that. And based on what I have heard and read from many reviews, more people recommended reading the novel because the story was beautiful.

There’s one thing that I found really heart-warming from this movie though. The soundtracks! They are the kind of songs that you’d listen to when it’s raining outside and you’re snuggling under the blanket with a good novel in your hands. I would definitely read Antologi Rasa the novel and listen to the movie’s soundtracks one of these days.

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“If he makes you laugh, that means you like him. If he makes you cry, that means you love him.”

(Harris to Keara, Antologi Rasa)

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