An Indonesian woman takes a job at a furniture store to escape her couch-potato hubby in the subtly handled “Peculiar Vacation & Other Illnesses,” from tyro scribe-helmer Yosep Anggi Noen. Essentially a road trip-cum-slow-burning romantic drama, the pic sees the newly hired Ning (Christy Mahanani) sent into the mountains to make deliveries with her initially standoffish but finally charming colleague, Mur (Muhamma Abe Baasyin). Too small and technically too wobbly to make many commercial inroads, the film should nonetheless parlay its Locarno preem to further fest inroads.Pic’s first half features so many shots of the back of Ning and Mur’s heads it would make the Dardenne brothers blush. Severe lack of onscreen facial expressions initially hampers auds’ ability to identify with the characters, though as stops along the way become more frequent, the characters come into full view. Intercut scenes of Ning’s useless, home-alone better half (Joned Suryatmoko) as he watches dating shows or visits a hooker are a tad in-your-face compared with the central love story’s delicacy. Acting is natural, though the same can’t be said of the tech contributions. Sound mix, especially, still needs work.
A Limaenam Films, Tembi Rumah Budaya, Lynx Films, Amalina Pictures presentation of a Limaenam Films, Tembi Rumah Budaya production, in association with Lynx Films, Amalina Pictures. (International sales: M-Appeal, Berlin.) Produced by Yosep Anggi Noen. Executive producers, E. Ernawan, N. Nuranto, Kemal Arsjad, Fauzan Zidni. Co-producers, Y.P. Kristyanto, John Badalu. Directed, written by Yosep Anggi Noen.
Camera (color, HD), Bayu Prihantoro Filemon; editor, B.W. Purba Negara; music, Charlie Meliala; art director, Bambang Kuntara Murti; sound, Otto Muharrom; associate producer, Arya Sweta; assistant director, Ismail Basbeth. Reviewed online, Locarno, Aug. 7, 2012. (In Locarno Film Festival -- Filmmakers of the Present.) Running time: 90 MIN.
Christy Mahanani, Joned Suryatmoko, Muhamma Abe Baasyin. (Javanese, Indonesian dialogue)