Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Books into Screen: Tenggelamnya Kapal Van der Wijck

I don't always read Indonesian books and I don't always watch Indonesian movies. I read Indonesian classics, though, some of them, one of which is, Tenggelamnya Kapal Van der Wijck by Hamka.

The book review is not yet on my blog. No. I read the book last month, but less than 5 hours after I bought it and 10 minutes after I finished reading it, the book fell into my friend's hand, which afterwards wouldn't return until several more read it in months to come.

Or maybe not. I'll reclaim it soon enough.

Right, so let's be satisfied with the film for the time being.

I can't even satisfyingly express how amazing it is. Book lovers, Indonesian, it would be a great crime to miss this thing. I might have underestimated local films too much, but I readily say that I've never watched any local film that would even compare to this.

Since I haven't written the book review, I will not speak of the plot, neither would I feed the readers with spoilers. But the followings are things worth noted of the film.

First, the scenes. Your eyes would feast upon the beauty of Indonesia - the mountains, the sunsets, the forest, everything is just a sweet treat.

Second, I must congratulate the actors and actresses for the quality of local dialects they portray during the film. The Makassar accent is my favourite, though, it sounds strong but sexy. Love the actor for it. The amount of local languages in the script is amazing, one could believe he is being transferred to a distant past and faraway land.

Because the story is set in the 30s, the language, the diction is just...adorable. I love that they basically copy the dialogues from the novel, thus retain the poetical beauty of it. While I use much English when writing, I am not really fond of deriving words from English when writing Indonesian poetry and it is indeed frustrating at times to write in pure Indonesian words since the stock of vocabulary is not as abundant as the English but the novel shows how strong our language can be.

My favourite part of the film, however, is also my favourite part of the novel. As a hint, I would only say, "the fireplace scene." That's it.

Having said that I'm not a fan of Indonesian movies, I still strongly recommend this one. How good is that? To further describe how good it is, I would say, "So good that I went to watch it, not once, but twice." Yes, it's that good.

Here's the trailer. (I can't wait for the DVD release.)

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