This year-end is gonna filled with a lot of films, especially local films. There are at least five local films currently showing or queueing in our cinemas. After last week’s “5cm.”, “Habibie & Ainun” is absorbing a lot of viewers to come to the cinemas. Predictably becomes another local box-office, “Habibie & Ainun” played a more serious segment of this holiday time as it was adapted from an autobiography written by Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. Yes, he was Indonesia’s ex-president (he’s our third president, working from mid 1998 to 1999) and he was also the man behind the project of our very first national airplane. But, “Habibie & Ainun” didn’t put it as the main topic. It talked more about the relationship of Habibie and his wife, Hasri Ainun Habibie, since they first met.
This romance was, of course, based on true story. Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie (played by Reza Rahardian), also called as Rudi or Habibie, was an Indonesian genius, master of engineering, and working in Germany, and Hasri Ainun (played by Bunga Citra Lestari) was a young pediatrician. After their first met in high school, they were reunited in Bandung, 1962. They loved each other and soon they married. Habibie brought Ainun to Germany. They lived happily there and were given two sons. Suddenly, when Ainun suffered from ovarian cancer, Habibie was getting a call from the Indonesian government to devote his knowledge to develop his own country. Then they went back to Indonesia, as Habibie’s career was expanding to the governmental sector. Many challenges happened to their marriage, but their love survived through years.
"I am the doctor, you're the airplane maker" - Hasri Ainun Habibie.
A tear-jerker. Oh yes, “Habibie & Ainun” is, potentially, gonna be full of tears. The purity of their love, the way they face problems that challenged their love... so heart-touching. Although, to be honest, the development of the main conflicts was not really showed, the story focused greatly to how the couple dealt with those challenges. That’s why I thought it’s okay if we weren’t given clear information about Habibie’s background and career, because the film took it as source of conflicts and brought it back to the backbone: the romance between the two (remember, we didn’t see a biopic of just Habibie). And those tear-jerking scenes weren’t something "fake"-ly created to make viewers cry; they were naturally arranged by the incredible chemistry between the two leading roles. The leading roles, oh, were great. Reza Rahardian, especially, was outstanding in portraying Habibie. His acting greatly resembled the way real Habibie behaves. The way he talked sometimes brought laugh to the viewers, but it really how our third president talks. I know Reza did a very good approach (and a very hard trial) to act, but it’s an easier job as he portrayed real living person. More burdens, I think, were on Bunga Citra Lestari’s shoulder as she portrayed our deceased ex first lady. She could only know how the real Ainun behaves from third persons. I think it’s not that her acting was a little bit worse compared to Reza, but it’s more because the character of Habibie was so unique—with all his words, way of walking, way of laughing, and other behaviors—compared to Ainun whose character couldn’t explicitly be shown by her physical behavior. I saw that Bunga was trying so hard to be Ainun with her expression, but finally, it’s covered by the more powerful acting by Reza.
However, the great acting was not fully supported by the technicians. The make up department was terrible. See, we have lots of actors and actresses portraying real persons; this year we have Nirwan Dewanto portraying Monsignor Soegijapranata in “Soegija”, or previously we have Nicholas Saputra portraying Soe Hok Gie in “Gie”. Here, we have Reza Rahardian portraying B.J. Habibie. Reza Rahardian was not physically similar to real Habibie (yet he did a very good job with his acting), and that’s why he needs special make up to make him looks similar to Habibie. Well, I don’t expect a make up team who make, let’s say, Meryl Streep looks similar to Margareth Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” or Anthony Hopkins looks similar to Alfred Hitchcock in “Hitchcock”, but what if we ask to make Habibie and Ainun look older? I mean, although the story spanned in more than 50 years, it didn’t seem to age. This is the main flaw of “Habibie & Ainun”. Habibie, Ainun, and the places didn’t seemed growing older. Bunga’s skin was still smooth when she portrayed the old, dying Ainun. Ainun’s house and neighborhood, nearly at the end of the film, looks just similar to how it was back at the 1960s. Nearly no change. The placement of ads was still our local films’ biggest problems—and it’s one of the problems of “Habibie & Ainun”—but the make-up was really annoying. Thank you for a good detail of properties, the footages of some real events, and some cameos (the real Habibie narrated and appeared at the latest minutes); they deserved appreciation.
Finally, I see that our local films are now shifting from quantity advancement to quality development. “Habibie & Ainun” showed that our local cinema industry has all resources: great young actors and actresses, good and rotating filmmakers, and a bunch of great stories from ourselves. Maybe some parts need repairment, but it won’t make me say that “Habibie & Ainun” was bad. Reza Rahardian and Bunga Citra Lestari, of course, will be notable for their great acting. “Habibie & Ainun” closed 2012 nicely, heart-warmingly.
▲ Outstanding portrayal of real persons
▼ Terrible make-up, annoying ads placement
HABIBIE & AINUN | COUNTRY Indonesia YEAR 2012 RATING Remaja RUNTIME 188 min GENRE Romance, Drama CAST Reza Rahardian, Bunga Citra Lestari, Ratna Riantiarno, Hanung Bramantyo, Vita Mariana WRITER Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie (book), Ginantri S. Noer & Ifan Adriansyah (screenplay) DIRECTOR Faozan Rizal MORE INFO