Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 and its predecessor is at their core, rom-com. However, AADC2 reads likes an art house film – every scene is shot with purpose and the care for detail is rewarded, truly, through the genuine appreciation of viewers. Indonesia, in particular Jogjakarta where the movie was mainly filmed, is beautiful – full of vibrant colors and soulful artists wandering its bustling streets. This very locale embodies the thing dearly loved by our main characters: art.
I don’t know where to begin – how, in my own words – to capture the movie’s success in this particular aspect.
Fourteen years ago when Ada Apa Dengan Cinta (AADC) was first released, I particularly loved and was most moved by the poetry insertion – “Tentang Seseorang”- two-thirds into the movie. In fact, I loved it so much that I had Dad translate the poem for me in Malay and English just so I could understand it line by line. I was, at the time, eleven years of age.
I revisited the movie about two years ago, now older and with deeper appreciation of poetry, and was even more taken by the poetry narration scene. So I’m ecstatic, to be honest, that the movie’s sequel – out now in local cinemas – maintained this. Like with AADC, they gave us two poetry! And y’know, if there’s someone I wish I could’ve watched this movie with, cos the right company does double the enjoyment, it is… Dad. The movie’s a rom-com but there are elements in it that I think – especially because he spent his undergrad years in Indonesia – he would’ve totally appreciated, maybe even echoed.
“You’re too soft, like your father,” Mum once said some years ago. “He has too much sentiments in his heart, always nostalgic about times past …now you, too.” I still take this as a compliment – if my heart is like his; what beautiful wonder.
I think what gets to me most about this new sequel, apart from the fact that it is totally thematically nostalgic and brings everyone, including the characters, back in time, is the acknowledgment that time has passed. Passing time is both something to celebrate and shed tears over and the aftermath – growth – is the only evident and trace of those lost eras. I think what gets to me most is that back then, Nicholas Saputra, as Rangga, was already intense – there’s something about those deep-setting eyes. Fourteen years later, those same pair of eyes are still intense, though mostly troubled; it’s as if he’s seen and tasted the world …and broken by it. I think that’s what gets to me – his forced quietness and constant internal listlessness.
And because he was abandoned as a child, growing up independent and alone – Cinta (Dian Sastrowardoyo) wasn’t just some girl he fell for… I think she was solace and comfort and stability – everything he grew up secretly, quietly wanting.
I think she was, for him, the one place he always wanted… wished for… hoped to return to. Which is why fourteen – or within the movie’s timeline of goodbye for them, nine – years had passed yet little is lost. Back then and now…
Cinta is, for Rangga, home.