Thursday, April 10, 2008

Berbagi Suami (Love for Share)

After seeing those Philippines movies I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see this Indonesian film, but finally I decided to give it a try with very low expectations and surprise-surprise the movie definitively does not look nor feel like any Philippines movie and it was very entertaining.

This Nia Di Nata movie tells three stories all about women and all about polygamy a subject that she describes as normal in Indonesia, but illegal in the west and according to her “there was surprise and amazement at how polygamy could be so common and casual” and I cannot agree more with her as I have never seen the polygamy portrayed so normal and casual and I’m a fan of that obscure polygamy TV series called Big Love.

As casual as the subject matter is touched, the three stories are intertwined by casual encounters of the main characters in each story, which I found was an interesting resource to successfully unite three stories with three different social classes. The first story is set in the most upper class and tells basically about Dr. Salma that discovers that her husband has another wife and as years go by another wife appears with the last one appearing at the husband's funeral.

The second story was the best for me, not only because belongs to the lesbian interest genre, but it was shot in Super 16, which gives the segment a very interesting feel of raw reality. Set in a lowest social class slum tells about Siti that arrives to Jakarta to find that the man courting her has already two wives with many children. She is taken in and she does not really understand how the two wives can live together listening to each other sexual moments with the husband. Eventually she has to marry him and becomes the third wife, but she dislikes her marital duties and starts to fall for sister-wife Dwi and have to say that the end of this history is very-very interesting under the circumstances the stories are told.

The third story has the best looking actress that plays flirtatious Ming that is a waitress at a famous working class restaurant frequented by all social classes. She ends up marrying the shop owner, but the first wife does not accept her. In my opinion this is the weakest story of the three, but gives an idea of a different kind of independence woman can attain, as by the way I believe that the three stories are all related in how women can finally achieve their independence from men.

As a movie is not a masterpiece but is very entertaining and flows easily, so easy that I didn’t noticed that the movie length is a little more than two hours.

The movie won the Best Direction in the 2007 Brussels International Independent Film Festival, the Best Feature Film in the 2006 Hawaii International Film Festival, premiered in competition at the 2006 Tribeca and it was the Indonesia submission to the 2007 Academy Awards Foreign Film category.

I imagine that if you ever have seen the HBO series Big Love and you like it, you have to see this movie to be able to see the same subject matter treated so casual and normal; if you haven’t I believe you could give it a try as is an easy to watch entertaining movie.

Obviously I strongly recommend this movie to many that read this blog and enjoy the lesbian interest genre, even when all that happens in this movie is talk, talk and talk.


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