I am a truly movie enthusiast who is also interested in learning (deeply) the craft of screen writing. I know part of the process of (self)learning is, learning (!) to dissect the movies I see. Sometimes I refuse to do that because, you know, it is a sure-fire way to ruin an experience of movie-going and movie-watching. But I think I'm finding the right balance where I can get really lost in the movie (if it's THAT good) and then either watch it again while seeing with different eyes, or, if the movie isn't really complicated, I would watch it once and later compare it with known screen-writing formula and then reflect which works and which doesn't (for me).
We decided to watch This is Cinta. Obviously, I am not the target market of the said film (obviously/ I am so far from the target market, I have to say it twice), yet a good story is a good story and it should be able to speak with people no matter how young/ old. I am sure I'm not the only one who still enjoy watching Disney animated films, although I would say I watch it only with my kid (not really). But after 10 minutes we went out of the cinema watching This is Cinta (and wasn't enjoying it), we already forgot the characters' name.
Then I started to think about it; what was it that we didn't like in the movie? I noticed that the beats connected with 'but' and 'therefore' so it's quite in a good structure.(SPOILER AHEAD) Farel and Rachel were best-friends since they were little, but for some reason Rachel's mother didn't like their friendship and decided to move Rachel very far away (try New Zealand). Fast forward to their teenage years, they still hadn't gotten over each other, in fact they were literally making their life goals to find each other; Farel by enrolling to a TV talent show with the hope of Rachel seeing him on the tube. And Rachel was insisting her family to move back to Jakarta. Therefore, they found each other, but Rachel's mother, still disapproving of their relationship, was pushing her to see other guy but Rachel rebelled therefore making the guy angry and kidnap her,
In my honest and humble opinion, when I write the outline, I see that the story could work well. It won't be easy to make (like all good things) but it's definitely doable. But then I look at the characters. Turned out, that what went terribly wrong. What do we get from Farel and Rachel beside the established fact that they love each other? Almost nothing. I know Farel could play the piano well, thus able him to enter the talent show. Other than wanting to see Rachel again, what is Farel's dream? His aspiration? His hobby? His annoying habits? Same goes with Rachel. We know that Rachel is a sweet girl who could turn into this extra rude, bitchy, spoiled brat when she was with Nico (the guy that her mother pushed her to date). Most of the time I felt sorry for Nico and hated her for that. And what about NICO? Despite the vague leer that (maybe) try to tell the audience that he might not like Rachel's attitude towards her, there's no clue about him. All the characters in the movie were there to serve only one purpose: either to HELP the main characters to be together, or to PREVENT them doing so. They are so one-dimensional I could picture them becoming mannequins when they're not on the scene, because they serve no other purpose. And for that, they don't deserve personality, traits, dream, fear, love, like we humans do. Rachel's father (Ari Wibowo) had no personality whatsoever, he repeated the words of Nico's father in the same scene WORD BY WORD. I face-palmed so hard.
|Poor Rachel's Dad, he doesn't even have a name...|
Maybe it's not easy to make a character tree for each of your character, also to write a full story of them that happened in the movie (despite it would be shown on the screen or not), but if it would make a movie so much better, maybe it is worth doing.