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Ayat-ayat Cinta: A romantic Indonesian movie, beautifully executed

Ayat-ayat Cinta, film poster

Ayat-ayat Cinta is an Indonesian movie about Fahri, a college student at Al-Azhar Islamic University, and his shortly portrayed but fruitful adventures in life and love. Along the way he'll meet several pretty and not-so-pretty girls Maria, Aisha, Nurul, and Noura; and what'll happen? Let's just say that I think this is really a must watch movie!

Unfortunately, I'm too lazy right now to write something original, so I'll just let these nice guys (or gals? ;-) at The Jakarta Post do the job for me:

The main character, Fahri (Fedi Nuril), is believably sincere in a too-good-to-be-true manner, which unsurprisingly attracts not less than four women during his stay and study in Cairo, Egypt. They are his college mate Nurul (Melanie Putria), whose high-profile family makes Fahri feels inferior; Noura (Zaskia Adya Mecca), a hapless victim of domestic violence who turns against Fahri; Maria (Carissa Putri in a somewhat mind-bogging dubbed voice), his jovial neighbor; and Aisha (Rianti Cartwright), who Fahri meets in very unlikely circumstances.

These four greatly different women, each with their own desire to love and have Fahri, provide the film with a succession of grand events that verges on melodrama.

Of course, as a side note, criticizing a critic, like most so-called "movie reviews" do, that article also didn't explain much about the story in the movie itself, as I think it's the most interesting part of a movie review. Who doesn't love stories?

Fahri, as it turned out... starts in the movie currently doing his thesis (or some sort of academic document, whatever). Then, his documents got corrupted. Luckily, he got some support from a cute girl named Maria, and (not very portrayed) his male friends. Let's say that he doesn't just get support, but also love, and you don't have to watch the movie to guess that--I suppose.

Now, the problem is, Fahri happens to be a guy that's too irrestible. Because of his willingness to help basically everybody, and sometimes Islamic idealism, he's attracted several other girls: the girl he helped on the bus, Aisha; the girl he helped on the streets, Noura; and his female friend in college, Nurul. It's a problem, indeed. Why? Because most of you guys would have a different problem: no girl. Fahri has a much more deeply rooted problem: Too many admirers, all of them women. Either way, it's still a problem.

The problem gets worse after Fahri married just one of these girls, disappointed the other(s), got accused of raping one of the them, and then marrying another one of these girls in order to survive his crime charges!! What a convoluted plot. But I have to say it's quite enjoyable for me, and I think you'll like it too! :-)

A little closing that will hopefully satisfy you movie critics rather than actual mortal readers: This is a beautifully orchestrated movie, from cinematics, picture, sound, actors, story, basically everything. Yet I do think that this movie is too unrealistic. It's so out-of-the-world. I mean the setting, and the plot (it's beautiful and weird at the same time,) and the actors and actresses. Come on, get some real foreign actors. Using Indonesian actors as a replacement for foreign people just doesn't cut it, and makes me a bit annoyed. But that's OK.

Another side note, is that I watched the movie in a near perfect setting, time, and I wasn't late: I watched right from the very beginning to the credits. Although the cinema was extremely crowded, they unwittingly managed to get me the lucky seat, which is right in the middle center, and no seats in front of me, which means the only lip kissing I see is in the movie, not in front of me. Talk about maximum viewing pleasure! :)

Go watch this movie...

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P.S. My favorite quote in this movie? "Sabar dan Ikhlas. Itu adalah Islam!" (Patience and Sincerity. Those are what Islam is.)



Using Indonesian actors as a replacement for foreign people just doesn’t cut it, and makes me a bit annoyed.

Interesting, made me remember of an observation I made a while -- did you realize that may Indonesians looks like foreigners ?

When I was in UK, I've been mistaken as all sorts of races - even as Mexican :D

So yeah, I think Carissa as Maria & Rianti as Aisha are okay.

Also if you read Hanung's blog, you'll find out that he's having problems finding a suitable egyptian actress. So he ended up choosing indonesian ones instead.

Nice review btw.

Re: Fahri having too many admirers, I chuckled when I read this comment on IM :

I don’t really like the story, sounds every girls want him …. sound too good to be true.

Do I hear a jealousy ? :D

Anyway, it's actually pretty simple to do. A few tips from my friends :

1. Don't be a jerk

2. Don't try too hard to be popular : trying to be funny and witty too hard may end up making you looks like a jerk.

Trying too hard to be popular tend to make you unpopular instead.

3. Be nice to others : absolutely important. The world is harsh enough as it is, so everyone that's kind will bound to get more attention.

4. Be tidy & clean : too many men are trying to be stylish, ended up looking messed up instead :)

Also taking care of personal hygiene is very important to the opposite sex.

And no, you don't have to be good looking - the media has misled us on this.

Personally I think I look ugly, especially when compared to my younger brother (he's our local brad pitt). But although so, and even though I wasn't looking for a girlfriend (was too busy with my books & computer, damn geek, he he), girls were approaching me.
Remember these were the 90's we're talking about, when girls are more shy than today.

In an occasion, I had to pull my casanova friend, and asked for his advice on how to proceed with that.
I was too much a nerd to know how to handle a girl (sad, I know :D )

If you ask me, I don't know exactly why either.
But, I have always been trying to do point 3. I don't like hurting others. I try to be courteous & smile to even strangers (a colleague called me smiling buddha - coming from him, I take that as a compliment).
Also I didn't try to be popular, but it came instead in some ways to me. Such irony.

Anyway, keep it up.

islam what... can marry 4 lor...why bother?

waiting for its youtube version.

however in most non muslim lands, islam is identical to blood / terrorism / bomb / kill / allahu akbar / primitive etc.

may Indonesians

maNy Indonesians.... doh, sorry :)

Wow... thanks for the prompt and useful comments! Arie, Mr. Harry Sufehmi, and Singboy..

Ayat-ayat cinta (2008) - Movie...

Note 6.3/10. Ayat-ayat cinta is a Drama, Romance Movie of 2008 made in Indonesia. Director: Hanung BramantyoCast: Fedy Nuril, Rianti Cartwright, Dennis Adhiswara, Oka Antara, Zaskia Adya Mecca, Melanie Putria, Carissa Putri, Surya Saputra...