Story of Kale: When Someone’s in Love is an Indonesian romantic drama movie directed by Angga Dwimas Sasongko and starring Ardhito Pramono, Aurélie Moeremans and Arya Saloka, alongside other cast members. The film is a spin-off of Nanti Kita Cerita dari Hari Ini, a 2020 Indonesian drama film by the same director and adapted from Marchella FP’s book by the same name.
Abusive relationships are hard. More often than not they leave permanent scars on people that do not go away easily. Lots of time, patience and (probably) some therapy help to take you back to normalcy and to a place where you can open yourself up again to a healthy relationship.
Story of Kale: When Someone’s in Love moves in a non-linear way. We jump back and forth from Kale and Dinda’s relationship in the present and its falling apart to back when Dinda was with Argo. We start off with the latter and look at how, a prolonged abusive relationship with Argo destroyed who Dinda was. It’s actually pretty disturbing to watch and trigger warning for anyone who has been in one.
However, Kale helps her get out of that train wreck and as the two fall in love, they collectively face many issues. As I said previously, it takes some serious work to get over the effects of an abusive relationship and Dinda’s wounds start to affect her newfound love. It doesn’t also help that Kale is overprotective and tries to dictate what she should and shouldn’t do because he thinks that he knows better.
It is honestly suffocating all the way around. Although Kale isn’t physically abusive per se, he really likes to tell his girlfriend about what she is good at and what she should do. Dinda tries to push back and live life on her own terms, but he doesn’t let that happen. While some would argue it is a step better than what she was going through before, I’d like to say otherwise.
Thus, we get to see how the past affects the present in Story of Kale and how it is not easy to forget it. The fact that Dinda doesn’t see the red flags before their story even started festered into something more complicated and resulted in the way their relationship fell apart. The movie showcases that well enough and jumps between the starting of their relationship to when she decides to end it. The non-linear storytelling gives the incidents of the present some great context by bringing forth what happened in the past, and thus director Sasongko deserves some praise.
Ardhito Pramono and Aurélie Moeremans are great as Kale and Dinda. They both embody the roles of the lovers physically and emotionally. While Pramono’s Kale is a jealous and suspicious little shit who wants to control his girlfriend in the name of protecting her, Moeremans’s Dinda is a cheater who is perpetually confused and is not at one with her feelings.
Summing up: Story of Kale
Story of Kale is a take on what not to do when you’re in a relationship. Although Kale, on paper, seems like the perfect boyfriend who’d probably make for a great husband, the deeper you get into it, the worse it gets. His insecurities and his views of love shatter his relationship with Dinda, and instead of trusting her and giving her space, he suffocates her. It’s exhausting to watch the same thing happen to Dinda all over again, and you feel relieved when she gets out of this. Although not many points can be given to her character either and you kind of are left to wonder whom to root for.
Story of Kale is streaming on Netflix.
Liked the Story of Kale review? Read our other reviews here.