Categories Film Review

Dilan 1990, An Overhyped Popcorn Movie

Dilan 1990 is a school romance comedy movie based on a novel with the same name. Even before the official premier, the movie already got some buzzes and hypes. Actually, i haven’t read the novel yet so this review is based only from the movie.

Dilan 1990 is pretty good and fun, but there is nothing special. It is a movie that you can enjoy casually without any concentration and focus and you can still laugh. But hours after the movie end it will be forgotten. There is no wow and lingering effect to the viewers, just like any standard popcorn movie.

The movie tells a story about Milea (Vanesha Prescilla), a high-school student, who moves from Jakarta to Bandung and soon fall in love with her school mate, Dilan (Iqbaal Ramadhan). The movie is set in 1990 but is opened with 2014’s Milea who write about her past, about her high-school lover.

The movie tries to embrace normative and poetic language into its dialogue, but sometime it feels cheesy and stiff instead. In the beginning of the movie Milea says, “this story is about him who taught me the importance of saying goodnight.” Instead of poetic, it’s cheesy.

Iqbaal Ramadhan who plays as Dilan doesn’t really blend well with the character. Dilan who is portrayed as an absurd but poetic bad boy doesn’t really appear in Iqbaal, or maybe it’s Iqbaal who can not portray Dilan perfectly.

Some of the dialogues feel so novel-like which are not perfectly converted into movie style, this storytelling style makes it even harder to be enjoyed as an audio-visual product. Even senior actress like Ira Wibowo who plays as Bunda, Dilan’s mother, is looked stiff in that kind of dialogue. Especially when her character should be a little bit more fun considering she is the mother of Dilan, a funny and absurd teenager. Well you can also see her driving a jeep and also wearing a rolling stones tee.

The movie has a lot of characters that are not developing well, at least they can be used to shape a sub-plot or to give details about background story of the main characters as well as the main plot. But a lot of them just appear without any reason and then gone like Kang Adi (Milea’s private teacher), Susi (the girl who has a crush on Dilan), and even the chaotic motor gang.

The gang actually can be used to give a little bit back story about Dilan’s position at his motor gang, but they are not giving any impact at all.

Milea is a lovely and adorable girl, a lot of people like her. But what is the reason? Well, no one knows, the movie doesn’t give any hint. If it’s just because she is pretty, then the movie should do better at least at the cinematography. But i hope the reason is more than just that. Also Dilan’s emotional character which is sometime feels weird and too much, where is it come from? His social circle, his army dad, or his admiration to Ronald Reagan, but they all are just information and properties that do not really justify his emotional character.

Vanesha does a better job at interpreting Milea that Iqbal does to Dilan character. You can see Milea saves some scenes from Dilan’s dialogues that are stiffly spoken.

Despite all of these, Dilan 1990 is a quite fun movie. It has a lot of jokes, although Iqbaal is not perfectly suited for Dilan but he can delivers Dilan’s absurdity and jokes quite well. The movie also enjoyable and has a pretty good cinematography especially in displaying the 90s style of Bandung.

In short, Dilan 1990 is a forgettable popcorn movie for teenagers. Well, it is enjoyable and worth to watch but it doesn’t live to the hype. It is just an overhyped popcorn movie.


Our Score (6/10)



Title                        : Dilan 1990
Production            : Max Pictures
Director                 : Fajar Bustomi and Pidi Baiq
Screenplay            : Pidi Baiq and Titien Wattimena
Original Story      : Pidi Baiq (Novel : Dilan 1990)
Casts                      : Iqbaal Ramadhan, Vanesha Prescilla, Rifnu Wikana, Ira Wibowo, Happy Salma, Farhan, Guillio Parengkuan



Putu Radar Bahurekso
t : @puturadar | ig : putu.radar


Written By


Demon Lord (Editor-in-Chief) of Monster Journal.
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.


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