Instead of moving, Umay Shahab's Ketika Berhenti di Sini jumps from one scene to another. This film focuses only on the highlights (you can wear your brainy cap and say that since death is the main topic of discussion, this editing pattern suggests how quickly time passes). This is the reason why boy and girl almost immediately fall in love. He is Ed (Bryan Domani), and she is Dita (Prilly Latuconsina). He works in an electronic repair shop, and she is a graphic designer. They meet after she accidentally drops coffee on her iPad (he vouches for his own store when she asks for mobile shop recommendations online). Ed and Dita continue to hang out after that initial meeting and become romantically involved with each other. Duh. There is another boy who fancies Dita (this is all he does in the film). He is Ifan (Refal Hady).
As we see more and more of Ed and Dita, we learn that the former is also an architect. So why was he working in that repair shop? Was it a part-time thing? His family is clearly rich. Was he trying to "stand on his own feet?" Let's brush these questions aside because, after a while, other thoughts start occupying your mind. After Ed and Dita become a couple, the movie swiftly transitions to their passionless period. The suggestion is quite obvious (as well as jarringly executed): Love fades over time. But this merely remains a suggestion. Since romance is not felt between the couple in the first place, we don't think that something has eroded. The main issue with Ketika Berhenti di Sini is that we don't believe in most of the things shown to us.
Umay's directorial vehicle is simple-minded, and calculated. Dita's favorite movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which means a virtual assistant is referred to as Clementine, and someone dresses up as that movie's main character. That 2004 film told us that when love is powerful, passionate, and special, no one can erase it from existence. In this movie, too, love is so strong that it isn't easily forgotten. Such cinematic connections, however, are so weak that you need to force yourself to join these dots. Dita's favorite film could have been Titanic, which wouldn't have significantly changed anything here. What removes the potency of this romance is that it's a combination of a simple film and a simple thesis. It has nothing new to say to us, and whatever it attempts to convey, it does so with little imagination or fervor.
Ketika Berhenti di Sini is all about moving on. It tells us to forget the past to enjoy the pleasures of the present. It also indicates that AI can never replace humans. The emotions we convey and feel can never be replicated by a machine. Yet, the movie, at first, shows its AI - a hologram of Ed - behaving almost like a human. He sits with Dita on the ground and talks to her in a gentle tone. He even questions her motives when she lies to Ifan. Then, the movie takes a 180-degree turn by changing the hologram into a complete robot. Suddenly, Ed begins to say things like, "Based on an article I read on the Internet..." and even repeats some suggestions. Earlier, the gadgets' flaws were suggested through moments like the one where someone passes through Ed's projection. Later, these visuals are heavily underlined for pushing the message down our throats. In addition, words like, "Of all the incomplete yearnings and unanswered longings, none of this is your fault," further dull things out.
The sole aspect that shines is some fine performances (it's not a great compliment, though). The actors try to bring something specific to this film that's painted with broad strokes. But the writing and the okayish direction don't give them much opportunity to show their talent. Latuconsina still manages to come out of this meh unharmed. Widyawati is another winner. Others look painfully locked within a single emotion assigned to them. The biggest compliment one can give to this film is that it's watchable. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you can very well drink this undemanding time pass. Others can savor Spike Jonze's Her.
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