Yang Tidak Dibicarakan Ketika Membicarakan Cinta [Indonesian Movie Review]

Director: Mouly Surya

Scriptwriter: Mouly Surya

Genre: Drama, Romance

Runtime: 1 hour 46 minutes

Diana and Fitri, two teenagers with a disability, get involved in sparks of love, one with a blind man and one with the ghost of a doctor from the past.

Why You at Least Should Watch It

The movie with the alternative title What They Don’t Talk about When They Talk about Love brings a new cinematic experience of the world that is seen and felt by people with disabilities. Mouly Surya magnificently shows this perspective to its audiences through creative plays and stories that simultaneously make it unique and natural.

Equalizing The Feels of The Disabled

From her works on Fiksi. and Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts, it can be said that Mouly Surya’s movies fall characteristically in woman lead. Both Alisha and Marlina from the two movies are powerful individual women that possess a goal and do not hesitate to have anybody’s blood on their hands. Yet, we can see nothing that resembles the two movies in the extremely long title What They Don’t Talk about When They Talk about Love. Unlike the two movies that bring up a thrilling experience, this second movie of Surya’s goes the other way by presenting a light tale between people with disability. Here, she directs and also writes the screenplay on her own.

The movie itself tells the major story of two students of the school for people with disabilities: Diana (Karina Salim), a girl with low-vision and a desire to be an adult, and Fitri (Ayushita Nugraha), a blind girl with an affection for ghosts. Both characters live independently as most people do; they study, they talk about anything on the dining table, and they have romantic relationships. Despite the movie centers on disabled people, it doesn’t have any attempt to foreground such an idea or make them like a character that has to be pitied.

On the contrary, what makes this movie interesting is the style that pictures them the same as people with complete bodily functions. We can see that the movie opens with a musical show of all the students playing instruments and singing harmoniously, Diana slightly teases Fitri’s disability while Fitri casually responds to her. Surya even gives some touch to the movie by giving the perspective of “what it feels like to be a person with a disability”. The result is mesmerizing, as when Edo (Nicholas Saputra) a hearing-impaired young punk man visualizes the letter written by Fitri. Surya portrays how Edo discerns the letter’s content with a theatrical set and braille projected on the wall behind Edo. Throughout this specific scene, we cannot hear any noise and the means of communication are only conveyed by hand sign language and visualization of words. Thus, only by this scene, we can perceive how a hearing-impaired person would feel.

Unfortunately, there is a montage randomly slipped in the early movie, when the first class begins, and it shows a glimpse of Andhika (Anggun Priambodo) another blind student and Diana’s crush riding a bike with an unknown girl embracing him from behind. It somehow feels like misplaced and randomly put. People might wonder what exactly this particular scene or might even overlook it since it states insignificant meaning right away; even the blind student, including all the characters, are just introduced and the audiences are still guessing. Afterward, the montage is suddenly disturbed and stopped by the ringtone from Diana’s cellphone. It can be concluded that it is just a part of Diana’s imagination of disabled characters live differently with their intact bodily functions. Yet, how the camera statically captures several people but not the actual person imagining the sudden montage proves confusing and can be easily mistaken. Because this first montage isn’t served correctly, it likely hinders the audiences’ expectation of its connection to the second montage that plays a major impact on the story.

Aside from the rough montage, the movie still emits its interesting theme through other aspects. The second major montage at the convenience store can state clearly how dreamy Diana’s imagination is through the use of the instrumental “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. The scoring for this exact scene helps to tone up the nostalgic feeling of wish that the movie associates with the lullaby given to children before they sleep, and eventually dream. It is a fun and fresh movie, even though it might not easy to digest at the first watch.


“Coba aku bisa tuli. Gak mesti dengerin omongan kamu. Gak mesti mikir keras-keras mau ngomong apa setelah kamu ngomong gini.”

“I wish I’m deaf. Then I wouldn’t have to hear your blabbering. I wouldn’t have to rack my brain just to find the right words to respond to you.”


Rating: 2 out of 5.

A fresh love story from the perspective of two teenagers with physical disabilities that possesses some bumps within its plot.

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