Grief and Laughter Intertwined: Unpacking Yandy Laurens' Newest Film

Grief and Laughter Intertwined: Unpacking Yandy Laurens' Newest Film

In his latest cinematic endeavor, Yandy Laurens, both writer and director, deftly navigates the intricate tapestry of emotions, weaving a narrative that immerses you in the nuances of grief and love. The brave, unconventional choices, like the black-and-white color palette, the neat division into sequences, and the multiple arcs, were a deliberate part of the story and not gimmicks. I watched the movie weeks after its premiere, and there were barely any seats left. 

The story circles around Bagus, a screenwriter, who unexpectedly reconnects with his high school crush, Hana. Hana is in the throes of mourning her late husband, and her grief is a constant undercurrent throughout the film. Laurens does an incredible job of bringing this to life, not just through the usual shots of a widow having flashbacks or staring at an empty bed. In every interaction Hana has with Bagus you can almost feel the emptiness she's grappling with.

Bagus’s own feelings were less apparent at first. He seemed to be stumbling along in his own thoughts. But his character develops the most in the story, from someone naive to one who can share the most deep reflections on balancing grief with love. His character arc is so central to the story that telling more would spoil the movie. 

The film's humor is brilliantly brought out in scenes such as those between Bagus and Pak Yoram, the head of the production house. Their debates over the script are genuinely funny and feel so real, it's like Laurens is pulling from his own experiences in the industry. Sprinkles of comedic relief are sprinkled in other scenes too, but this duo consistently lights up the room with laughter. 

The casting choices are spot-on. The choice of casting the more everyday-looking Ringgo Rahman and Nirina Zubir as the main characters, while the more model-looking Dion Wiyoko and Julie Estelle were relegated to supporting roles, made the story more relatable.   Sheila Aisha, as Dion’s wife, completed the cast of sidekicks that added spice to an already layered tale that should appeal to any culture. 

I'd definitely recommend catching this in theaters while you have the chance. There’s something about the shared experience – the collective laughter and gasps from the audience – that really draws you deeper into the journey of Bagus and Hana. It’s a film that sticks with you, well worth the watch.