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Love for Share

Three women from different backgrounds wrestle with the soul-crushing binds of polygamy in "Love for Share," a frank treatment of a normally taboo subject that's strong on heartfelt sympathy but weak on construction. Pic's future won't extend beyond scattered fest dates.

With:
With: Jajang C. Noer, Shanty, Dominique, El Manik, Tio Pakusadewo, Winky Wiryawan, Lukman Sardi, Ria Irawan, Rieke Diah Pitaloka, Ira Maya Sopha, Nungki Kusumastuti, Reuben Elishama, Atiqah Hasiholan, Janna Karina Sukasah.

Three women from different backgrounds wrestle with the soul-crushing binds of polygamy in “Love for Share,” a frank treatment of a normally taboo subject that’s strong on heartfelt sympathy but weak on construction. Helmer Nia Dinata, whose “Arisan!” featured the first Indonesian onscreen gay kiss, doesn’t shy from difficult topics, but here her script cries out for greater focus and a firmer hold on development. Pic’s future won’t extend beyond scattered fest dates.

While each story is self-contained, characters intersect in small ways. Weakest segment is the first: On discovering her husband’s ever-increasing harem, ob/gyn Salma (Jajang C. Noer) struggles to reconcile her role as obedient Muslim wife with her sense of betrayal. In a crowded slum, Siti (Shanty) chafes as her uncle’s third bride, redefining her sense of individuality in the arms of fellow wife Dwi (Rieke Diah Pitaloka). Flirtatious Ming (Dominique) tries to use a secret marriage to the boss for her own ends, but wife number one isn’t feeling generous. Second segment was shot in Super 16, giving the grittier atmosphere a much-needed air of reality especially lacking in part one. Shifts in story-lines are clumsily handled.

Love for Share

Indonesia

Production: A Kalyana Shira Films production, in association with Wallworks, Cinekom, ifi. (International sales: Kalyana Shira, Jakarta, Indonesia.) Produced by Elza Hidayat, Claude Kunetz. Executive producers, Adiyanto Sumarjono, Madiyan Sahdianto, Tjie Tianan, Claude Kunetz, Constantin Papadimitriou. Directed, written by Nia Dinata.

Crew: Directed, written by Nia Dinata. Camera (color, 35mm, Super 16-to-35mm), Ipung Rachmat Syaiful; editor, Yoga K. Koesprapto; music, David Tarigan, Hanindito Sidharta, Aghi Narrotama, Ramondo Gascaro, Bemby Gusti; production designer, Wencislaus de Rozari; costume designer, Tania Soeprapto. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 19, 2006. (Also in Tribeca Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 121 MIN.

With: With: Jajang C. Noer, Shanty, Dominique, El Manik, Tio Pakusadewo, Winky Wiryawan, Lukman Sardi, Ria Irawan, Rieke Diah Pitaloka, Ira Maya Sopha, Nungki Kusumastuti, Reuben Elishama, Atiqah Hasiholan, Janna Karina Sukasah.

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