For Indonesian Director, Movie-Making ‘Like the First Time I Fell in Love’
“Cinta di Saku Celana” (“Love in Your Pocket”) is a movie about making efforts. It tells a story about Ahmad (Donny Alamsyah), an orphan who grew up in an orphanage. Ahmad is a clever man, but he has never been in love. Working as a postman, he falls in love with Bening (Joanna Alexandra), whom he often sees on a commuter train. Ahmad does not have the courage to talk to her, so he writes her a letter. The letter never makes it to Bening, but Ahmad keeps on trying.
Director Fajar Nugros said the film is about getting what one wants, although unfortunately, one does not always get what one wants. “Cinta di Saku Celana” manages to avoid cliches through its various characterizations.
“I think a clever man can win against a stupid man, but a clever man will always lose to a tactful man, a tactful man will lose to a sly man, but everyone will always lose to a lucky man,” Fajar elaborates. “That is how I build characters in this film.”
Actor Donny Alamsyah plays the protagonist Ahmad and says his character is enriched by the other roles in this film. Here Donny talks about his character and his recent activities.
Can you tell us about your character Ahmad?
It’s a story about his first love. You must remember how it felt, everyone must have. Feeling shy and all that. The first time is the hardest. I forgot about my first love, but I can remember how shy I was.
What does the process of getting into the character look like?
I have to enter a life that is unlike mine. Both action and non-action movies are equally a pleasure to act in. I’m glad that I finally get to play in drama again. I talk with Fajar (Nugros, the director) and I got a lot of help from him and the rest of the cast and crew.
How did you feel about playing drama?
Finally, I got a drama movie! I don’t want to keep playing in the same film genre.
What other genres do you wish you could act in?
I would like to play in a blockbuster, a war movie, a movie about someone who has to make sacrifices, and a movie for children.
When did you decide to accept the role as Ahmad?
When I saw that the film was directed by Fajar Nugros. And the story is interesting. I think the script is pretty cool, it has a new way of telling a story. And basically I just want to play new roles. I wanted this role after I read it.
Other than promoting this movie, what are you up to now?
I just got an offer to direct a film. I’m experimenting right now, asking my friends how to make a good film. I’m caught up in a travel bug too. I want to travel Indonesia, just for pleasure and not work. I’m curious about our nature. I’m seeing pictures from my friends and I can’t believe those are taken in Indonesia.
Can you tell us about your new film that you are going to direct? Do you have a timeline?
The script is not done yet, so I can’t really tell you anything. The theme keeps changing but it looks like it is going to be a feature film. I hope to start shooting at the end of August. We’re currently trying to decide what our audience will like. It’s a lot like the first time I fell in love, I’m shy about it. I see directors on the job and it looks very simple but now that I have to do it, it requires a lot of work. I ask every director that I have ever worked with, and they all tell me to keep it simple.
Do you have a role model?
Every director that I ever worked with — Rudy Soedjarwo, Gareth Evans, Fajar Nugros.
I absorb all my knowledge from them. For example, when I was shooting this film, Fajar always gave me one subject that I had to focus on in every scene. I like that and I want to do the same in future productions.