Tiga Hari untuk Selamanya [Indonesian Movie Review]

Director: Riri Riza

Scriptwriter: Sinar Ayu Massie

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 1 hour and 53 minutes

A three days by car journey slowly unravels many things that have been burdening its two co-driver-passanger-cousins and begins to affect the rest of their lives.

Why It’s Worth Watching

Tiga Hari untuk Selamanya (Three Days to Forever) becomes the second movie of Riza-Lesmana-Saputra collaboration after Gie. Added with Wirasti’s superb performance of the rebellious girl and strong script from Sinar Ayu Massie, these acclaimed people manage to formulate a three days road trip and conversations over social issues while violating norms under the table.

A Short Trip That Lasts

“Come on, Suf. We’ve never been to Bandung before, just the two of us,” Ambar said. “As soon as we arrive in Jogja, we will surely be asked to do chores, I’m definitely not gonna do that.”

Then their one day trip to the center of Java is extended as they decide to enjoy themselves in the lively capital city of West Java. Little they know, what lies beyond this detour will significantly change their way to see things (though not something that grand) as between hitting the road and the break they take will expose the inward feelings that have been bottled up.

With a white Peugeot 406 D8, Yusuf (Nicholas Saputra) is assigned by his aunt (Chichi Kadijono) at his family gathering to bring her family’s sacred tableware to the wedding of her oldest daughter Adin (Inong Nidya Ayu) in Yogyakarta. The night before the whole family’s department, Ambar (Adinia Wirasti), Adin’s sister, invites him to a club party and ends up waking up late and chooses to join him for the ride.

Tiga Hari untuk Selamanya attempts to resonate with the stray lives of urban teenagers filled with promiscuity and illegal substances while at the same time endures the norms that are strongly rooted in them. Adin becomes the direct instance of this conflict as she is forced into a marriage after she was caught red-handed practicing free sex, which is considered taboo. To quote Ambar quoting his father, “If you don’t want to marry now, then you’re a hooker.”

Between the two youngsters, Ambar is obviously more vocal than her attentive cousin, although Yusuf would enthusiastically talk about heavy topics when opportunities strike. Their conversations are what make the movie intriguing as they would randomly throw any issue that piques their interest or feeling. Thanks to Sinar Ayu Massie‘s involvement as the screenwriter, the topics varied and deepen one after another as they visit different places until their final destination: from educational choices, marriage, and relationship affair to sexual behavior.

While pointing up customs, norms, and religion, Riza would comfortably combine them with the shots of excessive weed smoking and other opposing acts throughout the movie as he tries to show how such a phenomenon exists and nevertheless, is unlikely to be avoided within the society that places its belief deeply on good norms. Despite that, we can see that there’re still attempts at maintaining lines. Yusuf restrains his sexual desire several times whenever he is provoked, whether by a sexy dancer on a coast, a man with many wives, or even a silly, offensive phrase behind a truck. As for Ambar, she copes with an image of a strong girl, especially in front of her mother as she fathoms her mother’s burden as much as hers.

Despite Ambar’s affection towards her mother gradually explained through the trip, she is barely seen having any direct interaction with her mother, as Yusuf and his father do. It might seem minor but can bring a great impact on the rest of the movie and foreshadow as well as strengthen Ambar’s hidden feeling.

Along the trip, we are presented by new, magical places that become into a strong point from Director Riza and Producer Lesmana, as if they become trip advisors themselves to local attractions. From behind the wheel to many destinations such as Subang Coast and Maria Sendangsono Cave, we can perceive the dynamic interactions between the two cousins and the genuineness of places they visit in a well-taken camera manner. Like Ambar said when they arrive on the plain Sabang Coast, “This place is foul but at the same time…ehm, magical.”

This magnificent road trip that tempts thought and emotion would not be accomplished if there are no Saputra and Wirasti’s enigmatic, wild, and fluid deliverances, even though it can be easily expected when they are cast to play these roles (illegal acts excluded) from their previous performances.


Semua kejadian ada tujuannya.

“Everything happens for a reason.”


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A three days road trip filled with conversations and realizations gradually strengthen the bonds of two cousins that involved in it.


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