In Week One for BCM320 – Digital Asia, our task was to watch and live tweet the Indonesian film Love for Sale (2018). This Film follows Richard, as he looks for a date to his friends wedding. After struggling to find anyone to take to the wedding (including his younger employee) he caves and decides to use a dating site/service. Richard didnt realise that the site had a 45 day contract and during this time he ends up falling for the woman who was sent to spend time with him, Arini. In our reflections of the films we will be watching for BCM320, we have been asked to take an auto-ethnographic approach, and draw on our own life experiences, and live tweeting thoughts when discussing these films. While i have been lucky enough to travel to a few countries in Asia, Indonesia is not one of them, and i don’t have much knowledge about the country or its culture. However i feel like this film did a good job of showcasing aspects of Indonesian culture.
While researching into the film, i found a review on IMDB which stated ” it is very rare for us Indonesians to talk about such subject. Being single (or in Indonesian term: jomblo) is regarded as being socially impaired.” and “the movie provoked a meaningful question about the value of self-discovery and self-compassion before falling in love”. I feel like if the film didn’t have the ending it does, i would feel differently to this reviewer, and i kind of did before looking more into Indonesian culture and its relationship with love.
Anther review on IMDB (which i translated from Indonesian), stated that Arini was a “manic pixie dream girl”. A manic pixie dream girl, according to Nathan Rabin, who coined the term is a female character who “exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries.” This can be seen in western films like 500 days of Summer (2009) or Elizabethtown (2005). Which after reading that, really makes the whole film make sense and show that the concept of a women being in a man’s life just to ‘fix’ it and make it better is truly an international one.
The film ends by Richard waking up on the 46th day, after leaving out a wedding ring for Arini on the kitchen bench, to find that not only is he alone in the house, but the number he has for Arini, and the dating service, Love Inc, no longer work. After searching for Arini and the headquarters of the service, Richard decides to give away all of his things to his employees, who he only started being nice too after Arini came around, and set off to travel the Indonesian countryside. I am still not too sure how i feel about this ending, however i do feel like it makes sense for the film, and makes a nice statement about self love and discovery in a culture that places alot of value on being in a relationship.
I am very new to live tweeting, so to end this first BCM320 blog post, i just wanted to share my favourite part of this weeks live tweeting experience, which was the classes reaction to Richard and Arini, kissing.