An emotionally invested enthusiast of pop culture in the guise of a Copywriter. Apathetic by design. Aesthetically offensive and eloquently candid. A sentimental heathen.

I’ve heard of this movie back in 2015, when Joko Anwar finished it and I was sold because this isn’t a genre he’s associated with, and for the presence of Chicco Jerikho and Tara Basro. Then it started making it rounds in various movie festivals, and even delivered 2016 FFI’s Best Actress to Tara Basro. I missed it at JAFF, so I promised myself that I’ll make it up by watching it in the night of it’s theatrical release. Alas, life happened….



Sari (Tara Basro) is a beauty salon worker who loves movies and spent her night watching pirated DVD. Alek (Chicco Jerikho) is a subtitle maker for those pirated DVD. Inevitably, their paths crossed.


I believe timing is an important factor in watching a movie. You can watch one movie twice and had two different viewing experiences depending on your mood and situation then. And somehow, my delay in watching this movie presented an perfect opportunity. Because A Copy of My Mind was a movie that suffocates me in the best way with just how much I can relate to its characters. It got to the point where I have to turned away in fear of getting too carried away. It had the kind of candor that grabbed your attention in all those subtle ways and held you captive until you can’t evade it.

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A Copy of My Mind is a very simple movie, especially for Joko Anwar’s standard. It doesn’t have fancy dialogues or mindfuck twist, aside from its own simplicity. It’s not a story about a pair of new-found lover who got caught in political intrigue. It’s just a candid love story between two human being who found home in each others’ arms, and how real life got in the way just when you thought you’ve settled down for a reprieve from your sluggish routine. Sari and Alek were no star-crossed lovers, and they need no “I love you” or grand romantic stunt to display their feelings. It’s all there in their small gestures, their eyes, and their overall being. It’s a “love” so banal and painfully clear you don’t need to state it through words.

And it works, this movie works because Tara Basro and Chicco Jerikho gave the kind of chemistry I haven’t seen in Indonesian movies since Reza Rahadian and Adinia Wirasti in Kapan Kawin. They’re not going to fit your “cute couple” or “perfect couple” category, but they have this melancholy that made time slow down so you can drink every part of their allure. They might not even come off as romantic to most of you, but there is the kind of reserved and peaceful appeal in their relationship that formed a lump in my throat. And considering how this movie only took 8 days to shoot, it was plain to see how good the two are in being in character and improvising as they go along. But most of all, it shows the kind of dedication Joko Anwar had to bring the authentic taste of Jakarta by using hidden cameras and visualizing your everyday life in this taxing city.

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A Copy of My Mind is a luscious story about an everyday romance, pictured in blunt but sincere honesty by Tara Basro and Chicco Jerikho. Their performance were top notch, with just the right dose of pensive and romance. The political bit was practically a way to both send a jibe to the currently corrupt state of our politics, and a bitter reminder of how real life could always get in the way of your brief contentment in the most unusual fashion. Sure, it’s the kind of movie that you could watch in a decade or so to remind you of how living in Jakarta feels like. But for me, it’s the first movie in the long time that made my heart ache, even until I got home and can let my tears fall discreetly.


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Director: Joko Anwar. Writer: Joko Anwar. Released on: 3 September 2015 (Venice Film Festival). Casts: Tara Basro, Chicco Jerikho, Paul Agusta, Maera Panigoro.

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