Why “The Greatest Showman” Is NOT The Greatest

Disclaimer: if you haven’t watched “The Greatest Showman” and you don’t want any expectations ruined, you better skip this post and go ahead.

Okay, okay, before I elaborate the reason why I ‘mock’ everyone’s favorite lately, I must inform you that I watch this movie without any expectation. I hadn’t heard anything about The Greatest Showman until the day I accidentally saw the trailer on a local cinema while I and my dad queued for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The trailer didn’t enchant me the way Pitch Perfect 3‘s enchanted me (which happened to roll on the screen right after The Greatest Showman‘s trailer). Just compare it yourself:

To me, The Greatest Showman‘s trailer is lacking of conflicts and baits. The trailer only emphasizes its audio and visual aspects, it doesn’t sell the story. On the contrary, Pitch Perfect 3‘s trailer has everything a trailer should has: short and catchy line(s) that describes the whole conflict the movie is about. It also has interesting puns (thanks to Amy!)(but I’m fully aware though that puns won’t be available on The Greatest Showman since both of them are on the different pole of the genre spectrum).

However, since I don’t want to miss any Oscar-potential movies, I decided to watch The Greatest Showman too, without any expectation. Plus, people say that it is even better than the anticipated Insidious 4, so why not? Turns out… I like it! Despite the trailer, The Greatest Showman gives me more satisfaction than Pitch Perfect 3!

Yes, I admit it, The Greatest Showman is totally a movie worth watching. It is great, really. But why do I still think that it is not the greatest?

Now that I’ve watched The Greatest Showman, I put it on the same class as La La Land. Why? Because both of them are musicals and quite phenomenal.

Comparing those two makes me notice flaws in The Greatest Showman. But before I go, I must inform the great things about The Greatest Showman to make it fair:

Its audio and visual are really pleasing.

The great thing about The Greatest Showman is that the crew managed to find the perfect cast for the characters. All of them are so good on screen: eye-pleasing, great at acting, and able to sing!

You can see the chemistry between Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams when they’re on screen. I see that both of them are suitable for each other ’till I and my friend (who I went to the movie with) panicked when P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) started being flirty with Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson). You can also see the chemistry between Zac Efron and Zendaya when they sing “Rewrite The Stars”.

Plus, the colors of the scenes (although still not good as La La Land‘s) are able to make us feel the mood the story wants us to feel. Bright colors coated with upbeat lyrics and tones really make me want to sing and dance (although I can’t). Dark Manhattan sky with some household fumes make me feel like I was suffering the way they do. The depiction is great, honestly.

The set is neatly arranged too. I can see that the crew put lots of effort on it, mostly on the costumes. Dang, the costumes are so old fashioned (and it is a good thing, of course, considering its era of the story)! I wonder… is it possible for The Greatest Showman to win the Oscars for The Best Costume Design this year?

The last great thing about The Greatest Showman is the lyrics of the song they sing. The lyrics really speaks its singer’s heart.. it is the kind of song that touches your soul, kind of. When I heard it, I feel like I was waiting for the next part of the song because I want to know what can possibly happen next. Although the lyrics are better than La La Land’s or Beauty and The Beast’s (another musical you must have heard of), I don’t find it as catchy as La La Land’s.

Yes, The Greatest Showman is great, but for me, there are still some flaws that keep it a little lower than La La Land on my personal chart:

1. The story can be easily guessed.

Since the very beginning of the movie, everything seems so smooth. Although P.T. Barnum has lots of misfortune, he seems like he’s able to overcome his problem eventually. You won’t see a lot of his struggle on the movie and that will make you feel like everything is kinda easy for him. The father of the girl he likes disapproves him… but hey, look, he get her eventually! He’s fired from his job… but hey, look, he has a tricky idea! And so on. It is unlike the characters in La La Land or in Sing whose struggles can bring out our empathy.

So, as I watched the movie, I couldn’t stop thinking “What is the big conflict which he cannot overcome easily?”. And until the end, I don’t see one. There is too many small conflicts until there’s no big fat conflict as its main attraction.

2. Unexplained cases and unfinished conflicts.

  1. When P.T. Barnum mails Charity regularly, what is his address? Isn’t he homeless? How could he still receive messages from her?
  2. What does he, a poor little boy, do on his childhood and teen age ’till he can walk up to Charity’s parents’ door to ask for her with a clean suit and a fancy hat attached to his body?
  3. Okay, what’s wrong with P.T. Barnum and apples? You can see two apples on this movie: one when P.T. Barnum is still a boy and one when P.T. Barnum is already a dad. The problem is, you don’t get to see him finish eating the first one! Undoubtedly, you’ll mistaken the second apple as the first one because the second appears on screen not long after the first!
  4. Why does people keep saying that he is a fraud and his circus is fake?
  5. What happened to the protesters? Does moving the circus to a tent on the outskirts of Manhattan silence them?

I wanted to add “He’s very stupid because he buy a lavish gigantic house instead of paying his debt” to the list, but that won’t be fair.

The flaws aren’t that many, but those still disturb me from completely enjoying the movie. Nonetheless, the great things about The Greatest Showman can still cover its flaws, making it still eligible as one of the movies you recommend to friends.

If you have watched the movie and you agree or disagree with me, tell me on the comment section below! I’d love to know what you think. (Wow, I sound like a YouTube-er). Arrivederci!

Advertisements

The Question Only Time Can Answer

1173

What’s your plan for the next 20 years?

That is the question I must answer as a consequence of being a newly registered medical student (not really, never in a million years I’ll be entitled as a doctor). As someone who entered med school for the knowledge it provides and not for the curing license it gives, I have no plan at all. Therefore, this question haunts me day and night as the deadline of the task is not getting any longer.

Wherever and whenever I try to arrange the plans I’ll provide as an answer to that one particular question, I have flashbacks of a quite enlightening conversation I had with some friends. We  were sitting in my class on a one fine afternoon after school. Out of nowhere, someone asked me why I consider choosing health nutrition as the major I wanted to excel in although I had a greater passion in something else (communication). Long story short, I told them that I chose it because I believe it is the most logical thing to do; it is the all-in-one package of things I want to study.

In the university I enrolled in, the health nutrition major demands us to study diverse topics (which I’m interested in): communication, management, psychology, and philosophy. I’ve seen other majors’ curriculum and none of those are as diverse as health nutrition’s. Since I’m totally aware that college is expensive and it is more likely to be a chance of a lifetime, I try my best to pick the major that gives the greatest reliever for my thirst of knowledge.

At that time, I shared my worries to those who were there. I told them that I was in a dilemma: should I follow my heart (which will more likely lead me to the thing I’m really passionate about) or should I follow my brain (which decided to think logically)? At that time, my inner self rooted for my brain as it has more pros instead of cons. However, never had I before imagined my self being a nutritionist, telling people to live healthy while I myself prefer greasy lamb chop than carrots and broccoli.

Probably pitying me for drowning in my own worries, a free-spirited friend of mine spilled his opinions out, “You cannot decide who you want to be from what undergraduate major you choose. Undergraduate studies only carve the way you think. What you’ll be is decided once you study in postgraduate school.”

You see, he and I are nothing alike. All my life, I used to have a life-long plan. I had always known what school I want to study in, I had always discovered what I wanted to do in life. But him? He is some kind of a free-spirited artist. He never really thinks his life through, but somehow he managed to keep himself afloat in this deadly current named life. He enjoys his life to its fullest while I focus on the present deeds I must do in order to secure my upcoming happiness in the future. Although I understand his principles, I always find it hard to imagine my self having those as mine.

However, that time, I kinda trust his words. Maybe I found it true, or maybe I was too desperate looking for words that can soothe me. From that day on, I change my perspective. I won’t let my major steers my future; I’ll use my major as a vehicle to reach my future.

So, right now, by the time I write this, I don’t have any detailed plan or grand ambition when it comes to my life as a health nutrition stud (I haven’t even had a single class!). When it comes to my life as a health nutrition stud, I just want to start college, learn new things about a particular thing I’m interested into, and see whether it works for me or not. If it works, sure, I’ll try my best to excel in it. If it doesn’t, maybe I’ll try other things. As Rumi said:

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.

However, I still have lots of ambitions outside my life as a health nutrition stud. Since I’m aware that I’m a little bit derailed, I’m not going to rush to make things happen. I’m not going to take it hard on my self, too. From now on, I’ll try figure out how my vehicle works out before using it on a journey in an alien terrain en route to my ambition. Yet, it is still possible that someday I’ll grow an ambition in the “health nutrition land”.. who knows?

This time, I’m a little bit relaxed because I used to be in some kind of competition (competing to get the best junior high and high school in town) and now I’m not. College doesn’t work that way. In college, I believe success is no longer defined as “accepted in the school of your dream” or “stand out among others”; to me, the definition of success has transformed into “live happily and be the kind person you want to be“.

Well, maybe this is just a rambling from someone who entered a major due to logical reasons instead of any magical callings from the inside, but I’ve witnessed lots of friends who half-heartedly choose to stay in a major he or she doesn’t like because of harsh reality and I hope this helps (although, praise the Lord, I don’t stand on their shoe, so maybe this is not too accurate)(plus, I consciously choose my major as the vehicle of my choice).

So, to answer that haunting question, can I say that I can’t? I have never been a 38-year-old woman and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m at that age. The age 38 is still 20 years away from me; for an 18-year-old girl, that age feels indistinct. And.. within those 20 years, anything can happen. Life requires people to open doors that lead to lots of opportunity; life is full of plot twists and surprises. Sometimes we can go straight to our destination, but sometimes we need to take a detour just for the sake of life lessons. That question can only be answered by time with the help of sudden inspiration.. and I cannot be forced to answer it right away. So, instead of planning it down to every details, why don’t we just focus on walking down the road?

oh how I want to write this on my paper

Bukan Konsumsi Seorang Gadis

20(Disclaimer: this post is written in Indonesian because my target audience is any Indonesian, especially Indonesian parents)

Apabila kita menilik sejarah, Indonesia sudah sejak lama menganut sistem patriarki, sistem sosial yang menempatkan laki-laki sebagai sosok otoritas utama yang sentral dalam organisasi sosial. Laki-laki dinilai lebih kuat dan lebih tangguh daripada perempuan. Oleh karena itu, laki-laki berperan sebagai tulang punggung keluarga sementara perempuan lebih berperan sebagai penunjang kesuksesan laki-laki.

Sistem patriarki mungkin saja tumbuh di Indonesia berkat pengaruh berbagai pihak. Bisa saja sistem tersebut merupakan peninggalan budaya kerajaan-kerajaan masa lalu di Indonesia. Bisa juga sistem tersebut merupakan pengaruh agama tertentu yang memberikan pengajaran bahwa sejatinya mencari nafkah adalah tugas laki-laki sementara mengurus rumah tangga adalah tugas perempuan.

Budaya tetaplah budaya, suatu cara hidup yang berkembang dan dimiliki bersama oleh sekelompok orang yang diturunkan dari generasi ke generasi selanjutnya. Apabila sistem patriarki sejauh ini masih cocok dengan ideologi mayoritas masyarakat Indonesia, maka tak mengapalah sistem tersebut masih dilangsungkan. Apabila sekelompok masyarakat Indonesia masih sepaham dengan sistem ini, maka biarkanlah saja mereka meneruskan paham tersebut ke anak turun mereka. Apabila sekelompok masyarakat sudah tidak sepaham dengan sistem ini, maka biarkanlah saja pula mereka. Menurunkan suatu tradisi dari generasi ke generasi lain adalah kebebasan setiap individu, jadi tak perlulah ada perdebatan sengit di antara individu yang saling mencemooh ideologi masing-masing. Akan tetapi ada satu hal yang perlu diperhatikan ketika hendak menurunkan suatu paham, termasuk paham patriarki, kepada generasi selanjutnya: kesiapan generasi tersebut.

Sebelum kita membahas mengapa kesiapan suatu generasi perlu diperhatikan sebelum dipaparkan terhadap suatu paham, terutama paham patriarki, mari kita mengingat kembali kisah RA Kartini, pahlawan nasional pejuang kesetaraan hak bagi perempuan. RA Kartini terlahir pada 21 April 1879 di keluarga priyayi (kaum bangsawan Jawa). Pada usia 12 tahun, RA Kartini dipingit, yakni dilarang ke luar rumah. Adat pingit membatasi RA Kartini (dan ribuan perempuan lainnya pada zaman itu) dari berbagai hal, seperti menuntut ilmu di bangku sekolah. RA Kartini dipingit sampai beliau menikah dengan KRM Adipati Ario Singgih Djojo Adhiningrat yang bahkan tidak beliau kenal sebelumnya.

Sistem patriarki zaman sekarang memang hadir dalam wujud yang berbeda apabila dibandingkan dengan sistem patriarki yang ada pada zaman RA Kartini. Pada zaman sekarang, adat pingit memang sudah hampir tidak ada. Akan tetapi inti dari pemikiran sistem patriarki masih ada: bahwa laki-laki adalah tulang punggung keluarga dan perempuan berada di dapur saja.

Saya bukan seorang feminis pun seorang feminazi. Saya hanya merasa prihatin terhadap gadis-gadis Indonesia di luar sana yang masih menerima ungkapan “Kamu itu perempuan. Buat apa kamu berkarier? Perempuan berada di dapur saja.” Terlebih apalagi apabila gadis-gadis itu diperdengarkan dengan kalimat semacam “Buat apa kamu bersekolah tinggi apabila pada akhirnya kamu bertugas mengurus rumah tangga?”

Perlu orang-orang perhatikan bahwa seringan apapun perkataan yang terucap, apabila perkataan tersebut memiliki maksud untuk mempengaruhi seorang gadis untuk percaya bahwa takdirnya berada di dapur, gadis tersebut lama-kelamaan akan terpengaruhi. Lama-lama akan tertanam di benaknya bahwa apapun yang ia lakukan, ia akan menikah dan mengurusi keluarga. Karena gadis itu sudah terdoktrin, gadis tersebut tidak lagi akan serius dengan studinya. Ia tidak lagi memiliki cita-cita sebagai seorang individu. Cita-citanya beralih pada satu hal: membangun keluarga yang bahagia.

Membangun keluarga yang bahagia tentu adalah cita-cita yang mulia. Namun apabila hal itu merupakan satu-satunya cita-cita seorang gadis (yang tentunya belum menikah), yang benar saja?! Tidak ada yang bisa menjamin bahwa seorang gadis akan mendapatkan pasangan begitu ia lulus dari sekolah. Pun tidak ada yang bisa menjamin bahwa kebutuhan seorang gadis dapat dipenuhi oleh orang tuanya hingga gadis tersebut dipinang.

Seorang gadis harus memiliki ilmu yang tinggi. Ia harus dapat mandiri karena ketidakpastian itu selalu ada. Tidak ada yang menjamin bahwa pernikahan bisa memenuhi semua kebutuhan perempuan. Jika ternyata laki-laki tidak dapat memenuhi perempuan yang menjadi istrinya, perempuan tersebut bisa membantu sang laki-laki mencari nafkah. Pada dasarnya, menjadi seorang istri atau tidak, seorang perempuan harus berpendidikan tinggi. Toh generasi penerus bangsa pun memerlukan ibu yang cerdas sebagai ‘sekolah pertama’-nya apabila generasi penerus bangsa tersebut diharapkan membawa kebaikan.

Oleh karena itu, apabila seseorang hendak meneruskan paham patriarki dengan menasihati seorang perempuan mengenai prioritasnya (karier atau keluarga), lakukanlah kepada perempuan yang sudah siap, perempuan yang sekiranya sudah dapat berdiri di atas kakinya sendiri. Jangan katakan hal itu kepada seorang gadis yang masih belajar dan masih memperjuangkan cita-citanya. Jangan rusak cita-cita seorang gadis dengan visi yang belum pasti kapan akan terjadi.

How Every Street Campaign Should Have Been

There was a spectacular street campaign on Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta, Indonesia on June 24, 2014. As the presidential election is going to be held on July 9, 2014, the supporters of both candidates (Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla and Prabowo-Hatta Rajasa) have started the street campaign.

In Indonesia, every street campaign is brutal. The supporters of a candidate are roaming around the city with their made-up noisy motorcycles. And sometimes, the street campaign triggers a street fight between two sides who have the slightest mutuality. I really don’t get it why the supporters do that, the fight and made-up noises. I suppose those things tend to make people hate them more, isn’t it?

Just yesterday, I went to Malioboro and found a LOT of people gathered on the Malioboro Street to do a silent campaign. Well, not really silent, but it’s way more quiet and polite. Those people are non-party people around Malioboro who supports Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla. They held a parade around Malioboro. I’m not sure where did the parade started and ended, but I’m pretty sure the parade went through Malioboro and Kraton Yogyakarta.

What makes me think that the parade was how every street campaign should have been like is how effective, polite, and bewitching it is. They didn’t do any anarchy gestures, instead they smiled. They didn’t make useless loud noises, instead they sing a song about Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla accompanied by our traditional instruments (gamelan). Though it is one of the political strategies to win the election, it’s entertaining and not nauseating. I’m not talking about politics nor a candidate here, and by writing this doesn’t mean that I support a particular candidate (I’m still too young to understand politic), but what I really want to say is that I hope every street campaign is like this, or maybe better than this. I hope that every street campaign is educating, entertaining, and true.

Here, I’ll show you some pictures I got yesterday:

DSCN0105 DSCN0096 DSCN0103 DSCN0137 DSCN0106 DSCN0114 DSCN0109 DSCN0113 DSCN0104

I’m A Teenager: What Am I Going To Do?!

I have just received the result of my psychological test earlier which actually should help me determine my future. There, I found out that I have interest  in things which concludes laterary, aesthetic, social service, personal contact, and etc. By reading those 4 points, I didn’t feel being helped. I felt like I’m in a crossroad and ahead me there are lots of roads and I’m obligated to choose ONLY one road RIGHT AWAY. Then, a question crossed in my mind:

I’m a teenager; what am I going to do in my life? Who am I going to be?

And, yes, I suppose that is a question most of teenagers ask to themselves when they are moving toward maturity. Actually, I don’t really like the word ‘maturity’ since it sounds a little bit annoying and stiff, but I guess there is no other better English word to replace that word?

So, back to the topic, as a teenager, I humbly say that being a teenager is fun yet a crap. If you’re a teenager who don’t take your life seriously, fine, it’s easy to do your life. But if you’re a teenager who take your life seriously -or way to serious!-, the question above will haunt your whole teenage days.

The days of being a teenager are the best days of everyone’s life. We start to do fun things on our own without parental guidance.. that’s amazing! Yet the days of being a teenager are the days when ourselves are in our most vulnerable conditions. We start to figure things and have fun, but then we start to doubt things. We start to doubt who we are and other craps like that. We’re in the phase where we are trying to discover our true identity. And when we should discover things like that, society (or maybe system) force us to plan our WHOLE LIFE right away, regardless the fact that we’re still unconcern about our identity, by asking us to choose majors in university. That’s undeniably depressing! Here’s my impression of teenagers who take their lives seriously and get depressed eventually:

37

Here, I gotta say, that right now, I agree with what Ted Mosby of How I Met Your Mother said:

How I Met Your Mother S04E19 "Murtaugh" QuotesThere I show you. But then, in How I Met Your Mother S04E19 titled “Murtaugh” (yes, I’m a fan of HIMYM), Robin Scherbatsky said:

201

What can I say? I also agree with her. In an other way, being a teenager is fun, you also know that, right? I don’t mean to be miss-know-it-all, but I think all we teenagers have to do in our teenage days is just to do it. I know that advice REALLY SUCKS (I even consider that as the worst advice I have ever said), but what else can I say? We can’t just skip our life. I guess  all we have to do is do our best in this life and choose things wisely. And pray to God, of course. Determining what are we going to be in this life is sure a hard challenge.. but I guess we can try, right?

Well, actually, I even haven’t discovered many things in my life -I even haven’t discover my true identity! So, if you have any idea about this hauntingly beautiful crap, I would be very pleased if you share your advice on the comment below. Actually, that’s my purpose on writing this article, I NEED ADVICE!

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Speak your ideas!

Arrivederci! Till we meet again.
Me 🙂

 

Are You Sure That You Love “The Movie”, Not The Touching Plot Nor The Cast?

Are you sure that you love the movie, not the touching plot nor the cast?

Well, that is a question you must ask to yourself after watching a movie.

We, people who don’t know anything about the film industry sometimes say “I like that movie” and “I hate that movie” without any further thinking. Well, I admit it that sometimes I do. And after I thought for a long time, I think that judging something without further thinking is rude. Especially when it comes to movies.

As a viewer of a movie, I think it is easy to assess how good is a movie or how interesting is the movie. We, viewers, want satisfaction from what we watch and we always have that thinking of what satisfy us is a good thing. It depends on us, on our taste. We people have different lists of ‘things that satisfy us’. Like happy endings, romantic plot, good looking actor/actress, etc. And.. yeah, you can bring that list when you judge a thing you want to buy, but you can’t bring that list when you watch a movie. By judging a movie based on your list, I guess you do an unfair thing, you decide whether something is good or not by your taste, not by the quality.

I’m not someone who’s in the film industry or someone who have made big hits movies before, but as someone who have experienced the life of a movie maker (Well, not really. It’s just a school project), I know how hard it is to make a movie. Making a twisty plot which is able to entertain people yet still containing a moral value is hard. Moreover, directing the casts to act like how they should based on the script is also hard. Editing the movie. Adding special effects to the movie. All of those steps involves creativity and patience.

Behind The Scenes

So.. I guess it is not fair to judge a movie based on our list of ‘things that satisfy us’. I guess those immature words such as “She’s not pretty!” or “Hello?! I need a happy ending!” or “It’s not entertaining at all! All those people do is just wandering around like saints and say good things! I want a more alive characters, characters who say f*ck like every one minute!” is not fair. Well, what if the scriptwriter and the director made the movie like that? What if in the script, the female characters are described as ‘a not-very-appealing girl’? We don’t know.

Sure, we’re totally allowed to comment a movie, but our comments should be based on reasonable things. When we comment a movie, we should also remember that making a movie is not as easy as it seems. Our comments should be able to improve the quality of the next movie released.

Then, what aspects can we assess so that we can decide whether we love a movie or not? Easy. Change your POV and let yourself be a director for a while. There’s a lot of aspects we can assess. Like how the cast brought the characters, are they good or not? Or the plot, is it fresh and original or is it just copying the plot of the last hit movie? Or the appearance of the casts (you may assess it if you’re dying to, haha kidding), is their make up is well done or not? See?

So, I guess that’s how we should assess a movie. Assessing a movie by seeing a movie inside and out or assessing a movie from the POV of a director (plus the act of appreciating the movie for the work of the crew though the movie is awful) can really makes your head clear and able to give a strong reasonable answer and explanation when someone ask you “Do you love the movie or not?”.

So I guess that’s it. FYI, I wrote those things above because I’m kinda mad at the movie and TV programs my local TV channels provide. My local TV channels can’t even provide one truly educating program! #GodBlessIndonesia

So, I think I’m going into a hiatus for a while, my final national exam is coming up this May. I’m sorry but I gotta stay focus. Please give me your support and prayer, and I hope your life will be la vie en rose. 🙂

Arrivederci!

Satu Millenium

Terkadang para penguasa tak tahu,
Ketika rakyat cerdas bersatu,
Meneriakkan kebebasan yang mereka anggap angin lalu.

Maka terdengarlah letupan, desingan, dan hujatan,
“Persetan dengan peraturan!
Enyahlah segala kaku yang rancu!”

Izinkanlah aku pada jalanku,
Maka aku satu millenium lebih maju.

Demonstrasi 1