Categories Film Review

Cek Toko Sebelah 2, A Perfect Lowkey Romance

Family Rom-com is like a home for Ernest Prakasa. It’s where his talent soars high, and his works are recognized. His directorial debut, Ngenest (2015), brings simple jokes into a great comedy flick with deep socio-cultural narrative. In the following year, he directed Cek Toko Sebelah (2016) that become one of his notable works to date.

Cek Toko Sebelah 2 is taking place years after when the first Cek Toko Sebelah end. Yohan (Dion Woyoko) is inheriting his father’s store to become a photo studio. Ayu (Adinia Wirasti) is a full-time baker with her own store. Erwin (Ernest Prakasa) is still a corporate worker. Also Koh Afuk (Chew Kin Wah) is now enjoying his hobbies and life after his store no longer operating.

One biggest difference is this film no longer talk about the Toko (store). The film grows deeper and more intimate from its predecessor. The title of the film is now just a sign for the sequel rather than becoming the main narrative of the film itself. The store is now gone, now it’s a home.

If Cek Toko Sebelah was like exploring the store of Koh Afuk and all its related problems. Now we are seeing the ‘home’ of Koh Afuk’s family and all its related problems. From store to home, from inheritance to family ideals. That is how Cek Toko Sebelah 2 placed its narratives.

Cek Toko Sebelah. Courtesy of Starvision Plus

Cek Toko Sebelah 2 started with Erwin suddenly meeting Natalie (Laura Basuki) when her car broke in the middle of the road. After their first meeting, long story short, they are in relationship and ready to get married. But their plan to get married is facing some hardships especially from Natalie’s mother.

Natalie’s mother is a high-profile person. A self-made successful businesswoman. So, she has a lot of requests and demands for their marriage which bring pressure to Erwin’s decision on marriage. This is the main point of the film. Erwin has to face all problems for his future.

This film is already kicking since the opening scene since Erwin meets Natalie for the first time. The rain suddenly pouring down and they go to eat in the street stall. The opening is crafted meticulously with great dialogue and natural flow. The romance is flowing but not too much and not cringe.

The relations between characters also become deeper from the previous film. Despite some problems happened in the first film, we are offered with a brand-new taste of conflict. The story is more solid, and the problem is more intimate.

On the side plot. Yohan and Ayu also face their own problem with having a child. Koh Afuk is eager to have grandchildren and he persuade Yohan and Ayu to plan on having children, but Ayu is still not ready yet on having any children. During the film we can see several conflicts between Yohan and Ayu related to their family plan.

The side-plot of Yohan and Ayu enriched the film on various level. It gives wider and more realistic insight related to family problem. It also makes the film more dynamic and deeper meaning on romantic relationship. The problem during engagement process, the problem during family planning, the problem with in-laws, and the problem related to the relationship between family and career.

Cek Toko Sebelah 2 was meticulously crafted in the story-crafting and also problem details. The comedy is always on-point and the drama is not just melancholic but also meaningful. It is fair to say that Cek Toko Sebelah 2 is a perfect lowkey romance that is more intimate than the previous film.

Our Score (9.5/10)

Title: Cek Toko Sebelah 2
Production: Starvision Plus
Director: Ernest Prakasa
Screenwriter: Ernest Prakasa, Meira Anastasia
Casts: Ernest Prakasa, Laura Basuki, Dion Wiyoko, Dion Wiyoko, Adinia Wirasti, Chew Kin Wah, Maya Hasan

Written By

Editor-in-Chief of monsterjournal.com.
Film critics, and pop-culture columnist.
A bachelor in International Relations, and Master's in Public Policy.
Working as a Consultant for Communications and Public Affairs.

(radarbahurekso@gmail.com)

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