September 18, 2021


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‘Uni’ Review: A Sensitive Come-of-Age Drama from Indonesia

3 min read

Messages about girls’ freedom and self-determination are delivered with a gentle touch to “Uni”, a sympathetic and interesting arrival story about a 16-year-old schoolgirl who doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do with her life but she knows she has to follow tradition and Not ready to be a teenage bride. The third feature, directed solely by Camilla Andini (“The Scene and the Invisible”), discusses issues that need to be discussed and further enhances her position as an important and intelligent voice in contemporary Indonesian cinema. “Uni” definitely travels extensively at the festival and what it takes to be a domestic commercial success is to entertain the audience and force them to talk about the relevant issues raised.

The big strength of “Uni” is its simple construction and the way it deals with sensitive issues like teenage sex and marriage in a Muslim society. Andini and Prima Rushdie’s screenplays are not ashamed of anything, but at the same time never have to stand in the soapbox to get her progressive and persuasive messages.

Purple (a color associated with power, wisdom and spirituality), Uni (Arvind Kirana, great) is a clever girl with a passion for everything, attends a high school that plans to implement a mandatory virginity test for all female students and bans music on the grounds that it is Islamic Education does not comply. But freedom from such rules and restrictions is on the horizon for Uni. If her grades are high and she is not married, she will qualify for a highly valued college scholarship.

Studying is not a problem. The challenge lies where avoiding marriage. Both parents are working in Jakarta, far away in Jakarta, Uni lives with her grandmother (Nazla Thoib), a kind but tradition-minded woman who tells Uni that marriage is a blessing and “we should not reject a blessing.” Flying in the face of an old myth that says it would be almost impossible to find a husband who refuses two marriage proposals, Uni does just that. First rejected was construction worker Iman (Muhammad Khan), then Mong Dodi (Toto St. Radik), a married man at least three times the age of Uni, who was willing to pay a যৌ 3,500 dowry to protect his second wife.

Balancing the growing frustration of Andini Uni with the role of the narrow sex is putting pressure on her with the scenes of her self-conscious life as a teenager, who is free to speak her mind and make her own decisions. Some of the funniest and most enlightening scenes in the film include Uni, her chatterbox bestie Sarah (Neneng Risma) and their friends walking around the grass and talking about boys, crush, sex, orgasm and especially intimate self-issues. The same pleasurable feeling of joyful solidarity is contained in the friendship with Uni Suchi (Asmara Abigail), a happily divorced beautician with an uninterrupted stimulus for life.

He hardly knows if he has not received a marriage proposal from Sweeter. Uni is free to dream about her secret love with Damar (Dimas Aditya). Uni as a math and science is struggling with an assignment but assigned by Damar. His job is to analyze “Rain in June”, a great, metaphorical love poem by the venerable Master Sapardi Joko Damono. (In the production note, Andini mentions the work as the film’s inspiration and dedicates “Uni” to Domino’s memory.)

To bring poetry into the form and content of the film, Uni is helped by Yoga (Kevin Ardilova), a fellow student who is younger than her and sensitive to work. The boy also got a crush on Uni which is universal and absolutely paralyzing levels that can only be created in adolescence. Although stumbling, blunting, and general nervousness in yoga have a slightly flattering effect on some small parts of the drama, their one-way relationship becomes much more significant and life-changing for both.

Depicted and served with a strange and believable naturalness, “Uni” has the feel of a documentary that evokes the excitement, confusion and horror of exploring the life of an ordinary Indonesian girl that is universally experienced by teenagers. For his great achievement, the film never tries to accuse the villain or anyone with a finger. The point here is that the events of youth and life formation put pressure on girls like Uni very quickly and young women like her need more time to breathe the air, survey the landscape and decide which way they will go. Want to travel

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