TL;DR – A fascinating film of love, loss, and coffee.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this film.
The Heartbreak Club Review –
I have been recently part of a project that had me working on many regions of the world. One of the areas that we focused on was Indonesia, and I realised that I had not seen any of Indonesia’s cinema while I knew a lot about the country. In 2021, I wanted to change that, and today we have the first entry in that with The Heartbreak Club.
So to set the scene, Jatmiko ‘Jat’ (Bhisma Mulia) was at the concert of Lord Didi (Didi Kempot) singing along. However, he becomes overwhelmed by the music and the emotion of his life. We go back in time one month and see Jat and his friend Kopet ‘Pet’ (Erick Estrada) run a coffee shop that no one goes to. When one day Saras ‘Ras’ (Denira Wiraguna) walks in, and their world changes forever as the crazy comes in her wake.
The tone of this film is a romantic comedy, with an emphasis on the comedy. There are a lot of slapstick moments and plot elements that slip into melodrama. This is supported by the playful musical score and highlights the action or many cases juxtapose against it. However, some of the strings could have maybe toned it back a little bit. The juxtaposition creates a film style that might be frustrating for some, but I sort of found endearing. A great supporting cast helps this with the eccentric best friend Pet, and the stern yet caring sister Anjani (Sisca JKT48).
The Heartbreak Club only works as well as it does because you find yourself caring for Jat. At the start, he is so full of indecision he could give Hamlet a run for his money. But he starts to open up to Ras he becomes more confident with his life and that he knows his way around coffee. So when the titular heartbreak happens, you feel for him, ‘no Jat, don’t take the bear back’. Of course, that only extends so far, and there are points where he goes too far.
One thing that you do see throughout is that this is a beautifully framed film. The composition of every scene is spot on with the lighting and positioning. You didn’t need to do that time-lapse of the clouds, but I appreciate that you did. A couple of things made me go ‘hmmm’ throughout, but I am not sure if they were a case dialog choices in the film or subtitles not getting the nuance, because I noticed latter happening in a couple of places.
In the end, do we recommend The Heartbreak Club? Yes, yes we do. I am not sure this is going to be a film for everyone. However, I really found myself attached to Jat’s story and journey, and this is from someone who doesn’t even like coffee. If you liked The Heartbreak Club, we would also recommend Always Be My Maybe.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Heartbreak Club
Directed by – Bagus Bramanti & Charles Gozali
Written by – Bagus Bramanti & Gea Rexy
Music by – Nanin Wardhani
Cinematography by – Hani Pradigya
Edited by –Ilham Adinatha, Charles Gozali & Ryan Purwoko
Production/Distribution Companies – Magma Entertainment, Ideosource Entertainment, Paragon Pictures, Rapi Films & Netflix
Starring – Bhisma Mulia, Denira Wiraguna, Sisca JKT48, Asri Welas, Erick Estrada, Mo Sidki, Emil Kusumo, Dede Satria, Rezca Syam, Didi Kempot & Dwiky Al Asyam
Rating – Australia: M