Monday, January 3, 2022

Surga Yang Tak Dirindukan (The Heaven None missed)

A part of the world lives very different from what most of us (us Westerners, that is) and if we want to understand them we need to be aware of some cultural differences.  These two films are from Indonesia.  There is a moral dilemma depicted that would not be encountered in our culture, but is of interest.   ACT QUICKLY! Netflix has a deadline of January 27th.    They likley will be picked by another streamer--possibly Disney.  
Pras, a young boy witnesses his mother's suicide, years later he meets Rini.   Both are religious and in love.  They marry, have a girl while he has a responsible, but challenging job as an architect.  Driving he encounters an accident.  A woman is near death and he decides to drive her to the hospital and sticks around to see how she is doing.  She gives birth and shortly we learn she is suicidal (abandoned by a lover).  She jumps off a roof, but he is there to catch her.  She pleads to die and this drives him to promise marriage and shortly they are.  Pras names the boy Akbar.
Did I mention he is a Muslim?  When he returns home he learns his father in law has died and in passing learns further more that he had a second wife which is a bit upsetting to some of the relatives.  He decides not to tell his wife about his second wife.  His wife expresses disgust that her father had married a second woman.  He sets up a second household and learns his new wife is not religious, but sets out to teach her about the religion.  It is just a matter of time before Rini discovers the second marriage and she is very upset and forces him out.  He is very conflicted, but it turns out his mother in law knew about her husband's second wife and counsels patience and forgiveness.  Eventually circumstances conspire and  Rini ends up advising  Mei how to deal with Akbar's illness.  Further she becomes concerned about her husband's second family and tries to set up a household for all five.  Not over, but there isn't much left

 Sequel:   Another accident, another woman, this one from Malaysia, but despite some initial misgivings there is no repeat.   Meanwhile Rini has written a book and been invited to Budapest.  We learn that  Rini is at stage 4 cancer and wants Mei to fill her space.  It turns out Mei is also in Hungary (partly to escape her guilt feelings).  She finally has found a worthy man, Rini's doctor, Dr. Syariet.  Pras has felt it would be most ethical to divorce Mei, but Rini doesn't want that feeling Mei is the most logical replacement--at the last moment Rini seems to have caught on to Mei's new interest--Mei at first berated the doctor for not doing everything possible as he explained she refused all this strategies

 Suicide is a very grave sin and two of the characters had seen a parent commit it and Mei had attempted it herself.  Pras felt obligated to do whatever he could to prevent it and then he felt the need to keep his word.

Forgiveness is an easy thing to talk about, but can be very difficult.  The key people are Rini and her  mother.  Her mother feels forgiveness helps heals wounds.

What makes a movie go smoothly is the cast and crew.

Asma Nadia, novelist who has had several of her novels adapted to movies.  Near as I can tell they all have a Muslim theme.  She has also acted in a few movies and even produced one film.

Alim Sudio has written all three scripts for this series and done acting as well <check other browser>

Kuntz Agus directed only the first in this series

Hunung Bramantyo directed the second segment as well as helped to write script.  Meisa Felaroze co-directed the last two segments.

Manoj Punjabi  the producer of all three themed films.  He is the founder of MD Pictures, the largest media software company in Indonesia and as such deals with Disney where several of his films are schedukled.  He produced "Habibi and Ainum" (2012) that hit the highest Indonesian audience to date about 4.7 million.  

Fedi Nuril plays the leading male in all three versions.

Laudy Cynthia Bella plays the leading lady in the first two films of the series

Raline Shah plays the second wife in the first two scripts.  She goes from a desperate suicide attempt to a respectful.  She was award nominated for for this role

Landung Simatupang played the mother of Arini who suffered her own indignity, but calmed down her daughter..

Reza Rahadian plays Dr. Syarief who cares for Rini in Hungary.  He appears in the second two films  Also in "Habibi & Ainum" playing the lead and won a national award) and also "Kartini:Princess of Java" (2017).

At this point I am unsure how to see the final film, but suspect it might become available thru the Disney streaming.  There is already a moral dilemma lined up.  A reminder that time is running out for viewing on Netflix, January.

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