Tuesday, December 31, 2019

19 THINGS I LEARNED IN 2019

Sunset at Prambanan Temple, July 2019
This year has taught me so many life lessons that nevertheless, as important as what 2018 has taught me. I'm that kind of person that likes to reflect back in one or two days before the new year and start making list or not so-called resolutions for the following year. 2019 is the year I tolerating less that I deserve. I survived so many things in 2019 such as heart attack at the age of 27, trauma from an abusive relationship, fake friendships, binge-eating junk food (this was the effect of my stress eating), and lots of bad things that I thought I'd never experienced. I hope in 2020, bad experiences that happened to me won't happen again but became a life lesson that I will truly remember forever. I hope in the next year, the sunshine is brighter, the clouds whiter, and the sky bluer. 

Today I want to share 19 things I've learned the past 12 months. I hope you can learn something from this post too. Happy New Year, everyone! Until next time, xx. 
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Monday, December 30, 2019

THE BEST OF 2019


2019 is almost finished! To say this year wasn't a ride was such a vast understatement. I can't believe we're about to enter the new decade in a few days. Can't wait to start a new slate!

Today I want to share my best-of list for each topic that I mostly talk about in this blog. I'm not really blogging much this year, the main reason is that I was so caught up on working my thesis and finished my master's. Now that I finally finished, earned my degree and just chilling waiting for my graduation in February, I'm sure 2020 will start off really good. 

Enough chit-chat, here are my best of 2019... 
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Monday, December 23, 2019

WHAT'S IN MY HANDBAG


Back in May, I shared the inside of my go-to bag. It has been 6 months and my daily routine definitely changed. So of course, what I carry in my bag is also changed. I switched my Fossil leather satchel to this gorgeous navy leather satchel from Kate Spade. I purchased this bag the end of last year, I'm not sure this bag still available in or off the store. 

This bag definitely looks more girly than my previous bag and also smaller. It's perfect to carry my daily things as now I don't carry much. Although I still switch around with bigger handbag if I need to carry more stuff, this is my current most used handbag. 

Let's take a look what's inside! 

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

BOOK | TO THE POETRY BOOKS I'VE EVER READ

The Princess Saves Herself in this One - Amanda Lovelace
Haha yes, very cheesy title. And no, I did not watch the movie. So, guess by the title you know that I also read and love poems. I wouldn't say I read a lot of it but there are some of my favourite books that really put me into perspectives. 

The Princess Saves Herself in this One - Amanda Lovelace 
I found this poetry book back in Melbourne, mid last year. I was battling depression from the abusive relationship and grieving my late-Uncle and late-Grandmum. I always hear nothing but great things about Lovelace and had read some of her poems in the past, but specifically, this book came to my life at the right time. So maybe that's why it is my most favourite poetry book because it holds a special memory when I was trying to get hold into myself. 

This poetry book has several sensitive materials such as abuse, self-harm, trauma, suicide, death, and more. It is scary at first to read and at some point, she speaks my mind. She wrote what I had in mind, and it felt so good to know there's someone writing what's in your head and made you felt less crazy. 

There are four main contents in this book: the problems, the suffering, the overcoming, the freedom. I love it so much! I feel like she has a way with words that to make her readers feel the empowerment and the freedom she felt. 

Hujan Bulan Juni - Sapardi Djoko Damono 
I have no words to explain how Sapardi's words turned my whole life upside down. I would never think there was one man with his poems could do such a thing. He was a respectively one of the greatest Indonesian poets. His poems always loved and so often become material for poetry analysis in classes. 

Personally, his poems always open up my mind on life, love, people, and world, basically. I fell in love with his poem on my first year of uni and it changed my life. He didn't use pretentious words, he used common words and it hit me. It hit me and reached to the point when I realised I was living in a wrong storyline so I left. 

Again, the poem has a way to help to get through life. 

The Essential - Rumi 
This book teaches me how to think deeper and further without making it overdoing. Rumi has his own way to put your mind into perspective and give you touch with our surroundings and also with ourselves.

I think, spiritually this book helps me a lot. It's not talking about a certain religion but whatever your belief is, I think you will still understand the life, afterlife, and who are we belong to. Or even if you do not believe in God, you're going to enjoy this book still. This is a beautiful piece of art, written. 

Smoke & Mirrors - Michael Faudet 
I mean, who doesn't? Reading Faudet's poem is always magical. You can be happy when you shatter inside or you can be crying so hard when you're over the heels. It's his magic and I'm down with every magic he has in the future. 

I love every book he published but this one, again, holds a special memory. My best friend, Zain, gave me this book on my birthday last year. Poem is one of many personal things and not many people talked about it. If I'm not wrong, I don't think I've ever told him that I like reading poems but universe proved that even when you didn't talk about it when you know someone is the right person, you know. Since that day, I know he's the right person to run to when I have dark clouds cover my days. 

The Dark Between Stars - Atticus 
His poems gave me different feeling from other poems. As if each poem sparks new thought, or pulls back old, locked memories. It was a great journey to read this book. It wasn't like... mind-blowing poems, or overtly original, but it was so related to our lives and we do need something that actually related, you know? 

Milk and Honey - Rupi Kaur 
This book helps me to heal from my trauma and understand why it happened to me. Her honest words are really touching my sentiment. I read on some articles, Kaur was brutally honest when she wrote this book. She was writing from her experience and as a reader, I felt that. However, I did not see this as a poetry book, or maybe I was wrong, but still a beautiful piece to read and to calm you down. 


Do you have any poetry book you like? 


Love, Vera
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Friday, December 13, 2019

BEAUTY | TARTE TARTELETTE IN BLOOM PALETTE REVIEW


Recently, I got a new palette that I've been wanting for so long. It is the Tarte Cosmetics Tartelette in Bloom palette. I absolutely fall in love at first sight with this palette. The colour combination is so gorgeous! 

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Monday, December 09, 2019

MOVIE | MARRIAGE STORY (2019)

Copyright Heyday Films; Netflix
This movie is really mind-blowing! I never thought a story about two people who are going through a divorce could be such a beautiful love story. It is about divorce, while in the process of separating, these people managed to stay as a family in a way that none ever thought it would be possible. 

I never had a divorce, so I don't know any of this process nor I understand it. I haven't married, yet. So, again, I don't understand what it feels like to be truly in love, married your loved one, and then separated. This movie helped me understand the divorce and how you actually feel about it. In a way, this movie makes me reflect back to my last breakup, which is a catastrophe, and I can relate to both characters' feeling. 

Back in 2010, we got to see Blue Valentine, which was really good as well, however, that movie showed you mostly about the caused and the fight on both parties while Marriage Story is more like the process, the feeling, and the healing. I'm sure the divorce process will be different in each country, the legal process must be adapted from the country's own laws. But, the point is, this legal process is really exhausting both mentally and physically, which also expensive. As if you don't have time to grieve, or to think through once you decided to get a divorce. 

The centre of the story is both characters. We get their own time equally and that's a really beautiful way to show how you can't decide who's the villain and who's the victim here because they both have the ups and downs that you actually can relate or at least, imagine and understand what it feels like to be them. How real and raw the characters are as if we watch two real people talk or even fight. 

This story makes us, audiences, feel and understand because of the power of both actors' acting. This is simply the best acting I've seen this year. Adam Driver who played Charlie and Scarlett Johannsson who portrayed Nicole. I don't remember when was the last time I was this awed by how an actor or actress act on the screen. If the awards don't recognise and appreciate this level of acting, I don't know what the awards want. 

Have you seen Marriage Story yet? It's available on Netflix since December 6th! 


Love, Vera
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Sunday, December 08, 2019

BEAUTY | BLUSH MAKEUP LOOK


I love how the weather has been doing lately. It's pretty sunny in the morning and then rainy in the afternoon. I feel like it's a perfect excuse to be cosy up on the oversize jumper or put on the big denim jacket. If you live in a tropical country, jumpers and jackets are not the options when it's 32-degree Celsius! 

With this kind of weather, I like to keep my makeup has a bit of pop up colour. A little bit on my eyes, cheeks, and lips. Almost like a monochrome look. So, I want to share what products I used and how my go-to makeup lately. It's easy, simple, but still, add so much colour to my face!  


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Thursday, December 05, 2019

A CHOICE FOR MYSELF


It's really funny when someone is saying I'm single, some people think that person is lonely and has no romantic relationships in their lives. Which is not true. We live in a very modern era, I believe that kind of thought should not be considered a fact nor assumption anymore, should it? 

It has been a year since I called off my last relationship. I, somehow, entered the official single life status in a wrong time according to society. Girls at my age are getting engaged, married, and just giving birth to their first or even second child. For some reasons, my romantic life is a state of achievement. Because I am single, automatically I am not achieving anything. As if my master's degree was nothing, nor my first job, nor surviving the abusive relationship, nor surviving pericarditis. 

So often when I hanging out with my male friends, there were at least five people reached out to me and asked if he was my new boyfriend? Or when I went to the store to find a dress for some occasion, people thought I would have an engagement party or similar. 

There's a more annoying thing that people ever said to me, 'don't be such a hard to get, picky, girl. what else are you looking for?' 

Uh. Alright. 

Do you want to know why am I single? Do you want to know what am I looking for?

I'm single because I choose to be a happy, independent, single woman. I'm single because I have a choice to be single, not because I take a chance of the situation. No, I'm not lonely. Yes, I have so much love to give to everyone, especially to myself. Being single by a choice has taught me everything I admire about my life. 

My last relationship was a catastrophe. I was badly abused and it ruined my life for a while. It took me a while to finally be able to put myself together again after months. It took me a while to be able to handle all the triggers and face the trauma fearless. 

I guess it's fair to take time for myself to be the best of myself again. It's necessary to heal the pain, to deal with the trauma, and to forgive myself. It's important to be able to love yourself after you've been dead inside for a while. 

My happiness does not depend on status. I was in a relationship last year and I had never felt more miserable, more dead than I was before. I was used, manipulated, and abused. I was abused by someone I have known for more than 10 years. Do I have trust issue? Of course. 

I'm not going to let my past define my future. I will never let anyone has control of my life anymore. I choose to be single for the sake of myself and my health, mentally and physically. 

I choose to be single because I'm bravely waiting for someone who wanted to learn my past not to punish me nor to judge me, but to understand how I needed to be happy and loved. I'm waiting for someone who's willing to hold my hand and help me to love myself even more. 

I hope you choose the right choice as well. 


Love, Vera
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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SONGS I'VE EVER HEARD | SIDE B


If you haven't take a look at my Side A, you might not familiar with what kind of post is this. I love classical/instrumental songs so much because even without lyrics, the music makes me feel. I love a song that makes me feel something. 
  1. Contradanza - Vanessa-Mae
  2. Here Be Dragons - Gary Gackstatter, Alpharetta High School Symphony Orchestra
  3. Je t'aime - Richard Clayderman 
  4. Karzimierz Dolny - Zygmunt Czarnecki 
  5. Main Theme (From The Dark Knight Rises) - Hans Zimmer 
  6. Prime Luci Sulla Laguna - Gian Piero Reverberi, Laura Giordano, Rondò Veneziano
  7. Purcell: Trumpet Sonata in D Major Z, 850: II. Adagio - Henry Purcell, John Eliot Gardiner 
  8. Red Hot - Ian Wherry, Vanessa-Mae
  9. Truth - Ramin Djawadi 
  10. Zala - Pataki Gisella
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Friday, November 29, 2019

WHAT TO DO ON SICK DAY BESIDES REST

Copyright FOX 
Yes, apparently many things you can do when you are sick beside rest. I consider these activities are productive and I promise you it won't take up much on your energy. Are you kidding? We need more rest! Before you do this activity, make sure you have something to snack on and a cup of tea. 

Build your dream house 

HAHA, of course not. I mean, create a Pinterest board about your dream house. Start with your colour palette, the theme of your house, the size of it. When you have a chance, you can start decorating and no need to hire an interior designer because you have your own inspiration board. I can spend an hour-long just to scroll and pin some ideas to my board. It will be fun! Also, see how long you're invested on that. 

Write something

You can write whatever you want: just write one or two sentences that always been on your mind like ideas, who knows maybe it could be a novel. Or itinerary for future travel references which will be very useful and make your life easier when the time comes. Or start a blog, maybe you're going to like it! I've been this sick for almost a month now and I invest my time on blogging and finding some ideas. 

Read a book 

Sometimes, in our day to day life, it's hard to put reading time on our schedule. So use this time to read that novel you bought, I don't know, last year? If it is too hard to read a book, try to read a magazine, or even just one article. You'll be happy to know that at least you're doing something productive in a day even on your sick day. 

Watch a movie or maybe a series? 

Start to catch up on movies or series that you've always been wanting to see. Whenever I'm sick, I use this opportunity as a me-time. I can just stay on my bed with my snack watching Netflix all day. However, don't watch a heavy themed movie or series, just something easy or no brainer like comedy movies or series. Need a recommendation? If you haven't, start watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. That series is my go-to whenever I'm in a bad mood or my worst day. Of course, it will be lifted up my mood on my sick days. Not productive? Think again. 

Naptime 

If all fails, just take a good nap. Your body gives so many signs of how you should be taking rest more but sometimes, we did not listen. This is the time when you should listen and obey what it wants. 

I hope you feel better soon! Xx 


Love, Vera
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Thursday, November 28, 2019

BOOK | WHAT I'VE READ


When was the last time I wrote a post about books? I hardly remember! I've read some books, more than 13 books last year and 5 books this year so far (I wanted to read more but I worked on my thesis so basically had no social life or me-time). 

So, I want to share some of my favourite dystopian books I've read. Hopefully, this post gives you inspiration on what to read next! 

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

THROWBACK MOVIE | EP. 7: TWILIGHT (2008)

Copyright Summit Entertainment
So, this is not a regular throwback review, but I thought it would be fun to share. Last night, I rewatched Twilight and I had so many thoughts. Like, seriously, I'm an adult now, most of them were so different from what I thought when I was a diehard teenager Twilight fan - Twihard. 

  1. The first scene was on spot dramatic - talking about death already!! 
  2. I almost forgot how extremely awkward the conversation between Charlie and Bella was. All the darn time. 
  3. I actually love how natural Bella's makeup is. I barely see any, probably just tinted moisturiser, eyebrows and mascara? 
  4. Ew Jacob, put that wig down! 
  5. The 'Bella's first day at school' was pretty much the typical first-day scene at high school on every America's teen's drama/rom-com. The new girl, the It-girl, the It-boy, the talker, and the shy girl. Ugh. 
  6. Also, Twilight is the peak of 2008. 
  7. HAHA, Anna Kendrick! 
  8. Ooh... here comes the Cullens! 
  9. Of course, the It-girl was the one who explained everything to the new girl. OF COURSE. 
  10. But, tbh, good introduction.
  11. HOT DAMN EDWARD!
  12. I still remembered how excited I was to see Edward for the first time. Low key still is now.
  13. Edward's first reaction was hilarious: he acted as if Bella was smell really bad and then dude stared real hard. Like, Edward, chill, you're a weird man!
  14. Can we appreciate how Twilight soundtrack went harder than it should be? LIKE DAMN!
  15. Also, Robert Pattinson is so good in this movie - franchise, period. Even in a plain grey shirt. 
  16. Have I mentioned how beautiful the Cullen family was? Yes. They were like on the top gorgeous vampires. 
  17. The empty, grey sky, deserted beach. Why do you even want to go there? 
  18. The 'cat' guy! Why is he looked so familiar? 
  19. Okay. So, the reveal scene was kinda... odd! What if Edward wasn't a vampire but just normal, seventeen-year-old? What if he was just messing with Bella and acted so weird to get her attention? Can you imagine how hilarious it would be when out of nowhere for one second Bella thought he was Superman and the next minute she confronted and said he was a vampire? Gosh, Bella. You watched too many movies!
  20.  "My own personal brand heroine" and they were just met two weeks ago? 'Kay. 
  21. Man oh man, Edward in a blue shirt. Thank God for the wardrobe team. 
  22. Charlie Swan is iconic. Yes, is. 
  23. Bella was a real, dumb, teenage girl. First, she fell in love in two weeks to a 180-year-old vampire. Second, she was willing to come to a house full of vampires? Third, she was also really great at making a bad decision from one to another. 
  24. I like how the fight scene was badly staged. 
  25. So funny that Bella's parents were kinda okay when Edward (and the Cullens) blamed everything on her clumsiness. I mean, felt of the stairs and crushed the windows? Wow. 
  26. Praise to whoever chose Edward's entire wardrobe. He looked so good in that suit!
  27. I love the dance scene with the beautiful song from Iron & Wine. So sweet yet romantic. 
  28. Oh, love me some twist in the ending! 
  29. I forgot how cute the credits were!
  30. You know what, no matter how dumb this movie was, I still love it ;) 

Ps: of course I'm watching New Moon after this! 


Love, Vera

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

BEAUTY | MY FAVOURITE FACE MIST


I'm a huge fan of face mist! I use it before I start my skincare routine and after I do my makeup. Those two times is the must. I found with always using a face mist on your skincare routine gives you more moisture and prepares your skin for the next product you're about to put in. Also, if you spray a bit after you do your makeup, it will set your makeup in place and prevent your makeup from cracking and looking powdery. 

So here are my favourite face mists so far! 
  1. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater 
  2. Caudalie Grape Water 
  3. Lush Eau Roma Water Toner Water 
  4. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber, and Green Tea
  5. Evian Facial Spray 

What's your favourite face mist? 


Love, Vera 
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Monday, November 25, 2019

BEAUTY | 5 LIPSTICK TERBAIK UNTUK SEHARI-HARI


Hai! Hari ini aku ingin berbagi dengan kalian tentang lipstick yang biasanya aku pakai untuk sehari-hari. Daily makeup aku itu selalu natural dan hampir seperti no-makeup makeup. Aku kurang suka tampil dengan riasan tebal kecuali kalau aku memang ada acara seperti kondangan atau parties. Biasanya aku bahkan hanya mengisi alis, pakai concealer di bawah mata dan terakhir lipstick. Mudah, kan? Warna yang aku pilih untuk lipstick-ku pun condong ke warna merah muda atau nude pink hanya untuk memberi kesar fresh dan awake.

Here are my top 5 everyday lipsticks! 

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Friday, November 22, 2019

PLAYLIST


Anxiety free! 
  1. Blood Bank - Bon Iver
  2. Clouds - Before You Exit
  3. Dreams Tonite - Alvvays 
  4. Falling in Love - Cigarettes After Sex
  5. Falling Like the Stars - James Arthur
  6. Favourite Dream - The Careful Ones
  7. Into the Sea - Aidan Hawken
  8. Seattle Waltz - Benjamin Francis Leftwich
  9. Silver Lining - Mt. Joy
  10. Youth - Ásgeir
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Thursday, November 21, 2019

BEAUTY | MINIMAL MAKEUP WHEN YOU'RE SICK


I've been feeling under the weather for the last two and a half months. I'm getting treatment and such so now I'm getting better but still in a lot of pain especially in the chest and head. During those months I also had to out and about and of course, I did not want to be seen as a sick, pale girl. I found some ways that worked to hide my sickness. 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

TAKING A BREAK

I did not plan to say anything or even explain any of this but this morning, I received two emails saying that they missed my Instagram story, how my story helps them to feel less alone, help to distract them from their loud voices and such. 

I haven't posted any story for almost a week. I have logged out from Instagram and Twitter because I want peace. To be honest, I have been so anxious and insecure about myself for so long because of social media but I love how I can communicate with my friends all around the world through Instagram. 

Social media has brought so many positivities to my life. One of my long-time internet friends, Francesca, she lives in Dubai now and we've been catching up a lot through DM. We met through Twitter - she lived in Italy then and I was just an Indonesian girl. Who would thought that a girl who lived in Italy would communicate with a girl who lived in Indonesia? 

When I was opened up about my experience about an abusive relationship, so many people reached out to me (my Instagram is open for the public) and shared their own stories. To me, I feel so motivated and less alone and goodness, they are too! We bonded through experiences and stories and for God's sake, that is a good cause! 

However, social media also full of toxic. I'm pretty much an open book. Some people said that they can tell whether I am in a good mood or bad mood based on my Instagram story. They said they can tell how my life has been doing through my Twitter. 

That's wrong. So wrong.

What I posted on social media is what I want people to see. Most of the time, when I was lost control, I was just expressing how I feel but no more. I will never share my personal life on social media - even when I shared my experiences, I did not directly point out to those people who involved. My openness became a boomerang for me. People feel entitled to my life and honestly, I regret so many things in my life and opened up to some people is one of them. 

I am taking a break from social media (Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr) not because I did not love the advantages of them anymore but because at some point, they ruin me. They just add more on my anxiety and depression, just like a catalyst. 

I will still be blogging, of course. There's no way I will stop blogging unless I have writer's block (should not making an excuse but hey, life happens). Not sure when I will come back to social media, maybe sooner, or later, who knows? 

I'm slowly learning that even if I react, it won't change anything. It won't make people suddenly respect me, or magically change their minds. Maybe it's better to just let things be and step back. Maybe it's better to put my mind on what happens inside me instead. Not that I no longer care but to be selfish for your own sanity is also a self-care.

Until then. 



Love, Vera
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Saturday, November 09, 2019

MOVIE | THE KING (2019)

Copyright Netflix
Directed by Australian director, David Michôd, The King is a historical drama based on Shakespeare's play titled Henry V. As a Netflix original movie, I'd say this is a high-quality movie that we always need.

As a historical tale, this movie is a very enjoyable one although they are still using classical language with Shakespearean dialect. As someone whose first language is not English, I can understand most of what the characters say and even pick up some French too (although I did not understand any of it, I can hear them clearly). I assume it is safe to say that The King is a contemporary spin on the poetic, classical play. 

This movie focuses on the evolution of young Prince Hal (Timothée Chalamet), the firstborn with the reputation of his drinking and partying habits, mostly avoiding his responsibilities, to become a great King after his father died of illness, King Henry IV (Ben Mendelsohn). 

Timothée's portrayal of debauched young Prince to fearless warrior King is truly iconic! The openness of his character's emotion is fascinating to watch. The ability to make a connection with the audience with his eye gaze when he is looking or thinking, or even when he's doing nothing, is just pure talent. 

Storywise, although this movie has a relatively complicated plot but it is still enjoyable and interesting. Some scenes are too great for their own good. One of my favourites is the battle. It starts with Prince Hal's speech and dear Lord, the speech is so beautiful it hurts. Knowing that in this battle - in every battle, there will be blood and death, the young Prince is very encouraging and honest to his people. He did not ask them to battle for him but for the country. This is also the best of Timothée in this movie. 

The King is also pretty funny for a historical drama. The funniest scene is when the Dauphin (Robert Pattinson) shows up and out of nowhere mocking Prince Hal's genital (I'm trying to make this blog PG-13, okay). With his strange but funny French accent, Robert is just perfect for this role. For God's sake, he's about to play Batman and in this movie, he's a total idiot! I'm so glad I'm alive in this era, truly. 

However, in 140 minutes runtime, I feel like this movie still need more important and interesting content rather than what it has. Some scenes can be difficult to watch, some are just unnecessary, but overall it is a nice, enjoyable historical drama. 

Love, Vera
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

PLAYLIST


Just some songs to get out of a funk!
  1. All My Life - K-ci & Jojo
  2. Carry Me Away - John Mayer
  3. Don't Call Me Angel - Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus
  4. Elephant - Benjamin Francis Leftwich
  5. Genesis - Grimes 
  6. Mountains - Charlotte Day Wilson 
  7. My Blood - Westlife
  8. River - Ben Platt
  9. Somebody You Found - The Japanese House 
  10. Truth Tea - Zolita
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

MOVIE | PEREMPUAN TANAH JAHANAM (2019)

Copyright Rapi Films
Sepertinya aku gak perlu lagi menjelaskan kenapa aku nonton film yang juga dikenal dengan judul Impetigore ini ya. Aku penakut tapi kok bisa-bisanya nonton film itu? Ya gimana dong, sutradaranya Joko Anwar. Enough said.

Sesuai dengan hasil vote di instagram-ku, ulasan kali ini adalah ulasan bebas spoiler. Sebenarnya agak sulit sih untuk menjelaskan kenapa aku suka film ini secara umum, bagian apa yang bisa lebih baik dan bagian apa saja yang luar biasa kerennya tanpa spoiler. But, we'll try

Adegan pertama film ini rasanya seperti kilas balik ke tahun-tahun di mana jalan toll masih sepi - mungkin karena malam ya, tapi percayalah, sekarang bahkan tengah malam pun tetap rame! dan booth-nya masih dijaga oleh petugas Jasamarga. Aku suka dengan cara Mas Joko memperkenalkan karakter utamanya, Maya (Tara Basro) dengan cara yang sederhana tapi memorable. Selain itu, adegan ini pun jadi kunci untuk apa yang akan terjadi selanjutnya. 

Kalau diingat-ingat (karena aku lumayan sering menutup mata atau menonton disela-sela jari), cerita film ini sederhana kok. Cara penyajiannya saja yang luar biasa dan dibumbui dengan plot twist yang bikin bergidik. I always love plot twist, aku rasa tidak mudah membuat sebuah film yang memiliki plot twist tanpa merusak ide orisinal. Beberapa film gagal  menghadirkan rasa greget dengan plot twist, bukannya membuat penonton semakin penasaran atau tercengang, justru membuat kesal. Perempuan Tanah Jahanam menghadirkan plot twist dengan tidak terburu-buru dan sebenarnya sudah dibangun sejak adegan pertama saat Maya masih menjadi pegawai Jasamarga. 

Selain itu, Perempuan Tanah Jahanam juga bukan tipe jump scare movie. Walaupun backsound-nya bikin bulu roma berdiri dan tone film yang cenderung earth tone dan gelap, sepanjang menonton aku gak menemukan adegan jump scare yang murahan. Yang membuat aku menutup mata justru adegan-adegan yang gore. 

Lalu, apa yang membuatku takut setengah mati sampai sulit tidur? Ceritanya. The way people think and decided what to do next in this movie is scared the shit out of me. Pola pikir manusia yang sulit di tebak memang lebih menakutkan dari setan ya. Film yang menakuti mental seperti inilah yang menurutku film horor yang sukses. Jump scare itu takutnya hanya pada saat itu saja, kalau sampai mental yang kena, sungguh aku beberapa hari jadi paranoid. It attacks your mind!

I also want to talk about one specific character in this movie that will be haunting me forever, Nyi Misni (Christine Hakim) adalah ibu dari Ki Saptadi (Ario Bayu). Nyi Misni ini sejak awal memang karakter yang misterius sekali, bahkan dari gerakan matanya! I literally have no clue how to explain how great this character is without giving out spoilers. Setiap kata yang keluar dari mulut Nyi Misni rasanya seperti mantra, as if she's ready to end your life. Buatku, Nyi Misni adalah karakter villain terbaik di film horor yang pernah aku 'temui'! 

Kamu sudah nonton Perempuan Tanah Jahanam belum? 

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

MOVIE | JOKER (2019) - SPOILER REVIEW

Credit to Warner Bros Pictures
The pre-released hysteria of this movie was insane. I didn't even realise when it started but my twitter timeline went crazy and most of them said "Jokes is too violent for viewers," or "It triggers mass shooting..." and such.

Those comments made me terrified. I don't like watching movies that have heavy violence scenes or gore, or thrillers. They are not my thing. But I love Joaquin Phoenix in every movie he's in, he's one brilliant actor! Back to last year when I came to MIFF 2018, I watched You Were Never Really Here directed by Lynne Ramsay. That movie was very hard for me to watch but I went anyway because I want to appreciate my favourite actor and I want to see the different side of him portraying such a complicated, dangerous man.

So I went to see Joker anyway because why not?

I only watched the trailer once and that's it. I didn't know why, but earlier this year, I just stopped watching trailers at all. I found this way I did not have any expectations and when I don't have them, I won't get disappointed or less disappointed.

To be frankly honest, I have mixed feelings about this movie - not that kind of mixed feelings when you love and hate it, I feel strange because I'm all about against violence and yes, this movie has some violent scenes in it, but I do enjoy this movie. I love how they sort of created the early life of Joker which I'm pretty sure we never had before. I love the fact that Todd Phillips, the director, just made his own universe without really making the connection with DCEU or Nolan's universe. I love how they focused on the different side of the story instead of the horrible things Joker would do.

This is a spoiler review. I will share my thoughts and interpretations of this movie. If you haven't watched this movie, you probably don't want to read this review but if you don't care about the spoilers, it's up to you.

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Sunday, September 29, 2019

MOVIE | AD ASTRA (2019)

Credit to 20th Century Fox 
Let me tell you, this is a psychological, science-fiction movie. It is really hard to follow, and yes, drained me emotionally. I'm actually at an absolute loss for words. I feel like I just went on a sort of a spiritual journey that I can't explain. 

Before I watched this movie, I did not watch the trailer as I normally do. I saw the movie poster and saw Brad Pitt and I'm sold. That's it, I'm going. So I didn't know what's this movie about and I had zero expectation. 

Ad Astra is not a typical science-fiction movie, which usually big things happened in space or tell you how to survive in the space. This is not. So if you expected this movie would be something like space travel, you might hate this movie or just, disappointed. 

I love this movie. I love movies that make me feel something and Ad Astra definitely did. 

This movie focused on a character rather than the action sequences or the science-fiction itself. It shows you the emotional side of an astronaut like what it feels like to be up in the space with zero gravity for more than 60 days? I don't think there's a movie ever tells you about this side. I probably missed it, but I believe this is the first movie that shows us the downside of being an astronaut, their depression and anxiety, their ability to cope up with responsibility and their own lives. It is really tough! 

And that film focus is a credit for Brad Pitt. He is extraordinary in this movie, everything about him is just so great and deep. Personally, this is his best performance. He is brilliant in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) but there's something really different from his performance in this movie, something so special and really touch the audience emotionally.

Ad Astra gives something fresh and unique in the film industry especially when it crafted so beautifully like this one. I can't explain how beautiful the cinematography is. It was one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen in my entire life. From one scene to another is just so smooth, calm, and so relax. I honestly felt like I was on a journey to find peace within myself.

I understand this movie is not for everybody, there are some strange things happened in this movie and they were not quite fit into the movie logic. Ad Astra is not a perfect movie but it is something different in terms of the science-fiction genre. 

Have you watched this movie? If so, what do you think? 


Love, Vera
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Monday, September 23, 2019

TANYA JAWAB


Sore ini aku pakai fitur questions di Instagram dan bertanya pada teman-teman di instagram apakah mereka punya pertanyaan untukku dan apakah mau disebutkan namanya karena aku akan menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan tersebut di blog. Ternyata... hampir semua ingin namanya ditulis sebagai inisial atau bahkan anonymous saja. Hanya beberapa orang yang mau namanya aku tulis, padahal menurutku pertanyaan mereka enggak terlalu personal kok. Tapi ya aku nurut saja. Sebenarnya, aku tahu sih pertanyaan-pertanyaan apa yang akan bermunculan, tapi ya dari sekian yang masuk aku pilih. Btw, terima kasih teman-teman! It was fun!
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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

MOVIE | MIDSOMMAR (2019)

Credit to A24
Walked into the theatre, I was very nervous and excited at the same time. Since his debut, Hereditary (2018), Ari Aster was one of my favourite directors. However, there's a bit of drama about this movie in Indonesia. Midsommar almost didn't make it through the cinema because of the film sensor according to Indonesian Broadcasting Commission. Cult, violence, and sex are some of the taboo topics in Indonesia movie industry. Well, not gonna talk about that.

Midsommar is a slow-paced movie because it takes a while until things actually happening. This is also one of the most beautiful cinematography I've ever seen. The colour palette is off the chart gorgeous! Everything is bright, white, and almost reach to the point that it is calming and relaxing.  This is a treat for our eyes. Until it's not.

This is a nightmare in the bright sunlight.

Like Hereditary, this movie also set up with how to cope up with loss and grief. The main character, Dani (Florence Pugh) losses her entire family in a terrible and horrifying homicidal. I don't consider it as a spoiler because it occurs before the movie title, but I'm not gonna talk about it more. This is a set up to the entire movie. Dani has a terrible relationship with his boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor) who is no longer in love with her and then the family thing happened. For Dani, everything just falling apart. So, when one of Christian's friends asked them to go to Sweden to visit his family, it looks like a perfect gateway for her. 

But I have to say, this movie processes the relationship theme better than its grief theme. I find this movie forgets about the grief theme because it no longer connects to the following events. In term of the relationship, it portrays almost accurate when two people are no longer find the benefit, not necessarily toxic I think, it's just doesn't do any good for both of them and they're trying to find the excuses for it. 

Narratively, this movie has a simple story but an elevated presentation. Some scenes are pretentious but overall, this is a psychological horror movie that really works. Like Jordan Peele's Us (2018), I left the theatre with an uneasy feeling. This movie is a disturbing one, no doubt with great performances from the actors. However, the characters in this movie are like objects. We don't have a connection even after the movie ends. They're relatively likeable characters but I don't feel what they feel in this movie. Some of the scenes in this movie have the potential to build up the character development to audience connection, but then it changes in the next scene so strangely that we don't understand what is this person doing. 

Hence, movie production is the best. The cut, the score, the audio, the visual, everything is just so perfect! There's one scene in this movie, which also one of my favourite scenes in terms of cinematography when people are dancing in the circle and the music is faded then back to normal again and then faded again, following the eye movements of the lead character, I think that's so gorgeous! And then when everybody sits on the dining table, ready to eat, the camera shots from above and it shows everyone on the frame. The way they take their cutlery is like a domino effect. Start from one person and spread out to everybody in a synchronized movement. So gorgeous! 

Overall, I like this movie. I can't wait to watch the uncut version of this movie even the director's cut!   Yes, this movie has so many violence and gore scenes and those forced me to close my eyes tightly, but I love Ari Aster's work, so yeah. 

What do you think about this movie? 


Love, Vera
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Monday, September 09, 2019

MOVIE | GUNDALA (2019) - SPOILER REVIEW

Copyright Screenplay Films
Gundala adalah film pertama dari Jagat Sinema Bumilangit atau Bumilangit Cinematic Universe (BCU) yaitu jagat sinema pertama di Indonesia! Lahir dari komik ciptaan Hasmi, Gundala akhirnya diangkat ke layar lebar oleh Joko Anwar, salah satu sutradara kesukaanku! Aku belum pernah baca komiknya karena jujur saja, aku bukan penggemar komik. Sekarang justru bingung juga kalau mau baca komik, di mana aku bisa membeli komik yang lahir di tahun 1969?

Untuk ulasan kali ini, aku sengaja membuat spoiler review karena banyak sekali yang ingin aku bahas terkait dengan cerita asal Gundala, peran dia di jagat sinema Bumilangit, dan potensi film dan karakter yang akan datang.

Jadi, kalau kalian belum nonton Gundala, jangan baca ulasan ini ya! Tapi kalau kalian gak masalah sama spoilers, let's get started! 

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