Hereafter: A Love Story offers a novelty in the romance story with the theme of different religions, namely interpreting the ideal world. However, the novelty is only almost blooming because there is an impression of being too careful in working on this issue. In addition, this film almost gives the audience a controversial idea to debate.
In short, it is narrated that a couple, Timur and Mentari, were determined to keep their relationship a secret for some time from their friends and family because of different religions. Then, due to an incident, the two of them were thrown into a strange world. Similar to death-themed films, the two meet “Death” and try to outsmart death. The storyline is very fresh and provokes various imaginations. However, the opportunity to present an interesting story was delayed due to the avoidance of sensitive issues.
At the beginning of the story, the two figures are introduced to the audience with different family backgrounds and symbols of Islam and Christianity to strengthen the issue of religious differences. In addition, the mother of each character is also depicted against inter-religious relations. The reason, implicitly, is that the relationship is not justified by religion and is final.
Unfortunately, after that, the narrative about religion did not fulfill the story. In fact, this story raises the theme. The vocabulary of religion and divinity is not discussed. The director and scriptwriter, Jason Iskandar, seems to be careful and leaves out issues that open up debate. As a result, the audience found Timur and Mentari restless throughout the film. However, on the other hand, the two of them do not have a strong basis to maintain their relationship, especially arguments that break the general view of religion.
In addition, it is also described that Mentari and Timur are obedient figures and do not have the balls to openly challenge general rules. The room for debate that became the offer of this theme did not materialize in a thick manner, even more so as to challenge social construction. Therefore, there are some parts of the film that feel flat and undeveloped, as well as the dialogue between the two.
With this depiction, this romance film suddenly becomes an adventure film. In their newfound world, they move from place to place in confusion. Later, both of them were engrossed in the new places they met, instead of igniting their guts to sue for the prohibition of interfaith.
In addition, in the new world, it is described that Timur and Mentari are amazed by the new characters they meet and their problems in the real world. Then, it’s as if both of them put their problems aside and try to understand the characters they meet. On the other hand, the focus of the film becomes blurred because there are attempts to capture the issue of love in a wider context.
Similar Theme Movies
A similar theme has been presented in the film 3 Hearts Two Worlds, One Love (2010), but the discussion is different. The story of Rosid and Delia comes in a strong cultural reality and context. The issues raised are very relevant and strong. There are several perspectives in interpreting the love of different religions.
The things that Rosid and Delia are complaining about also come to us and become the subject of contemplation and stimulate us to talk about them. In fact, Rosid is dealing with religious experts regarding the use of the cap. In addition, there is a scene where a religious group branded Rosid and his friends as a cult for involving a woman, Delia, in a discussion. These collisions left contemplation and questions.
Switch back to Hereafter: A Love Story, this film depicts an ideal world, but is separated from the reality and the problems around it. On the other hand, there are no controversial ideas to provoke debate over ideas. There is novelty, but it does not leave the debate.
Read also: Death Lengger Dance (2021): Facing Trauma with Tempest
Author: Anggino Tambunan
Editor: Muhammad Reza Fadillah