Magazine article Screen International

'Posesif': Hong Kong Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Posesif': Hong Kong Review

Article excerpt

A teen romance takes a dark turn in Indonesian director Edwin’s fourth feature


Dir: Edwin. Indonesia. 2017. 102mins

A star high-school athlete discovers the troubles of first love in Posesif, and Indonesian director Edwin discovers the struggles of jumping from applauded festival fare (Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly,Postcards from the Zoo) to more mainstream filmmaking. Here, girl meets boy and sparks fly, but their seemingly idyllic relationship is soon tempered by his darker nature - a scenario that sounds all-too-familiar and plays out the same way. While the filmmaker’s fondness for lyrical imagery might remain, as the narrative flirts with soap opera territory his symbolism-laden visuals merely prove attractive wrapping.

Posesif often proves a case of good intentions gone astray; of attempting to dive deep but being lured back to a comfortable template

On home turf, the film has enjoyed some festival success, including best actress and supporting actor awards at 2017’s Festival Film Indonesia. Elsewhere, it’s likely to stick to the Asian circuit, making its international premiere in Singapore before screening in Hong Kong.

Taking its title from the Indonesian term for ‘possessive’, Posesif’s romance-gone-bad angle is apparent from the outset - not that it makes its depictions of blossoming teen love any less routine. Lala (Putri Marino) is a diving champion, Yudhis (established star Adipati Dolken) is the new kid at school, they meet-cute over forbidden footwear and are soon wandering around parks, posting Instagram declarations of affection and rearranging their schedules to be together. Well, he’s doing that, and it doesn’t take long for his ire to rise over the fact that she isn’t. …

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