Mariposa, an Indonesian teenage love story released on Netflix today. This is the second Indonesia film I am reviewing in the span of one week. After getting disappointed by Geez & Ann, I hoped this Angga Yunanda, Adhisty Zara, Dannia Salsabila, and Junior Roberts-starrer would impress me. The film is directed by Fajar Bustomi and the screenplay is by Alim Sudio. Just like Geez & Ann, the latest film is based on a novel which is written by Luluk H.F.
The film starts with Acha (Adhisty Zara) telling her best friend Manda (Dannia Salsabila) how much she likes her classmate Iqbal (Angga Yunanda). Four months ago when she got transferred to the school, it was love at first sight for her towards Iqbal. We go 10 minutes into the film and Acha ends up telling Iqbal about her feelings. She keeps asking him to share his number. However, he is not interested.
Iqbal makes it sternly clear that he is not interested in Acha. However, she is not ready to understand why he can’t like her when she likes him! Mariposa is a type of butterfly and the character Iqbal from the movie is represented as one. It is not easy to catch hold of a Mariposa butterfly. One has to keep chasing it. That’s what Acha does most of the time in the film and it is cringe and annoying.
Our generation today bashes a lot of Bollywood films from the past that are considered classics. Youth today finds it disgusting that even when the heroine rejects a guy in a film, he never leaves her alone. He keeps chasing her, following her, expressing his feelings, interfering in her life, tries to control her, creates fake scenarios to get close, and so on. This is exactly what happens in Mariposa.
In one scene, Iqbal gets so mad at Acha for not leaving him alone that he calls her ‘cheap’. Her friends are shocked to hear the same. Acha’s best friend Manda slams him and says that he gave her hope. But I have watched the film and no, helping someone when they are forced to because of a scenario you created doesn’t mean they are giving you hope. Also, chasing someone, following them and constantly texting and making noise in public that you are his girlfriend even when the person has rejected you, is indeed cheap! Why would the makers think it is cute?
I thought maybe this movie will take a different route than most Hindi films and show us that forcing your feelings and chasing someone is not love. Well, I was disappointed. Another disappointing part was Acha’s mother telling her to keep fighting because that’s love. I was mad but I couldn’t stop laughing. By the end of the film, Iqbal falls for Acha because who cares about healthy love anymore? The formula of chasing/forcing your feelings and calling it ‘fighting’ for your love is outdated. Such stories should be burnt away.
In today’s time when crime rates are at an all-time high; when people show their obsession towards someone on social media and send threatening DMs and comments, Mariposa sets a wrong example. Acha reminded me a lot of every typical clingy and creepy on-screen hero like Ayan from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Kundan from Raanjhanaa and many others who would not leave the girl alone just because they ‘love’ her. Self-harm is considered adorable by these freaks to get the attention of the person they like.
Mariposa: Is it worth it?
Overall, Mariposa had nothing good or new to offer. In real life, people like Acha would be receiving restraining orders from an Iqbal.
Mariposa is streaming on Netflix.
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