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Layla Majnun 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Director: Monty Tiwa
Writers: Alim Sudio, Monty Tiwa (story)
Stars: Acha Septriasa, Reza Rahadian, Baim Wong
Layla Majnun is an Indonesian romantic drama starring Acha Septriasa as Layla and Reza Rahadian as Samir or Qais in the lead. The movie was released on 11th February 2021 and is now streaming on Netflix.
The story is based on Layla’s life, whose life turns upside down when she loses her father. Clutched under the hands of fate, Layla and her mother shift to her uncle’s house and start a new life. A few years later, Layla grows up to become a wise scholarly woman who has been working on her second book. Her first book is inspired by the tragic love story of Layla and Majnun. The story is followed by Layla getting selected as a guest lecturer in Azerbaijan. Before leaving, Layla is proposed by her childhood friend for marriage. Life takes a sharp turn when Layla falls in love with one of the admirers of her work.
The movie starts slow. But as time passes, you start feeling the emotions of the lead characters and how! Acha Septriasa and Reza Rahadian’s chemistry speaks volumes as they hold your hand and walk you through their beautiful love story.
There is nothing wrong with Monty’s decision. Instead, I consider it a surprise, in a positive sense. This film is like quenching the thirst for classic love stories in Indonesian cinema because it is carefully executed.
I actually tend to be skeptical when watching Indonesian romance dramas. Apart from being a cliche story, the execution usually doesn’t impress me. Moreover, most Indonesian films in the last few years have seemed better at producing horror and thriller films than other genres.
But Layla Majnun managed to captivate me even though it didn’t get carried away in emotion. At least, I did not frown, even felt very anxious to meet the filmmakers and actors and discuss my dozens of questions about this film.
Layla Majnun is actually still telling a cliché love story typical of Indonesian people, which at the same time makes me nervous. Love that seems very complicated for Asian women, including Indonesia, is difficult to be independent in love, and is often under pressure as well as environmental demands.
My surprise actually came from the early stages of this film. Initially, I was impressed by the feminine spirit of Layla’s character, played by Acha, which made me have far expectations.
Monty and writer Alim Sudio don’t seem to want to make my fun last. Gradually, the cliché stories that I used to meet, both in movies and in reality, emerged. In the end, Acha’s version of Layla is still an Indonesian woman.
However, my lowered expectations were relieved by a number of praiseworthy formulas.
The formula is the decision to maintain the poetry of the Layla Majnun legend in the story which is also applied in cinematography, the charm of Azerbaijan not only from the landscape but also from language and culture, and the acting skills of Reza-Acha-Baim Wong.
With that formula, this film offers more than just a cliché love story in a drama film in general.
How often do you see classic poetic love films – not just inserting poetry – in Indonesian films? This type of film seems to have appeared only every few years since the What’s Up with Love? at the start of the millennium. This situation makes Layla Majnun seem to provide fresh air, especially in the midst of a gloomy pandemic situation.
The poetry also comes not only from the dialogue, but also in matters of lighting, camera techniques, to the scenes arranged in such a way by Monty Tiwa. The audience seems to enter into the image without feeling odd or tacky. Monty gave it the right amount.
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