Final week! Ready or not, here we go~
Episode 6: “What do you want?”
After the sweet-turned-bitter meal, Mar goes for a walk by herself. Nic asks her whereabouts which she replies with a snap of the building before her. A fraction of a second later, he sends a snap of her back view. Eep! He’s been tailing her after all — and approaches her with that look — for fear that she will be lost. (Or perhaps he’s afraid of losing her is a closer interpretation of “takut kamu ilang”?, ‘cuz that evokes more aww. Lo~ve the double entendre.)
He apologizes for the mishap which he knew upset her and shares a trick of stopping tears from flowing out in case she feels like crying. That is enough to melt the tension between them. Back to walking side by side, they take pictures in Victorian costumes, listen to the same music*, and ride on a water vessel as they have another heart-to-heart chat.
Building a relationship with another person is not easy, even if they have known each other and suit each other. Comfort alone is not enough, Nic adds. “They need to share the same dream, they need to want the same things.”
Mar: “So you… what do you want?”
Hit the bull’s eye! A breakthrough, finally??
Nic answers, in voiceover: “Aku cuma mau semua bisa jadi lebih sederhana, Mar. Cuma itu aja.” (I just want everything to be simpler. That’s it.)
He has a way with words, doesn’t he? So why does he have to respond to the last question inwardly? When they finally have a candid exchange that doesn’t sound cheesy and awkwardly prying? Argh!!
Even then, i don’t fathom what he means/wants. For someone who prefers uncomplicated things, he seems to be holding back a lot while Mar has been more forward. She periodically brings up topic of their past, of how nostalgic it feels, suggesting she misses those good times. Her tantrum still feels out of place, but that only shows her displeasure when he doesn’t pay undivided attention to what’s in front of him at that moment (which was her). She is pretty much transparent, while Nic…
They click, they look and feel comfortable around each other, yet those factors aren’t enough for him. That’s why she specifically asks what it is that he wants, so they can make it work, and he throws that vague answer that we aren’t sure is heard by her.
*) It’s Far away by Simon Adams, one of the two(?) original soundtracks of the mobile drama. Another one is When you are near by Marion Grace. Both tracks can be downloaded for free from the link provided in respective youtube video. While the songs have been up for some time now, i’ve refrained from watching them — i stopped halfway actually — as they show behind-the-scenes footage which might give away what’s gonna happen in future episodes. Gotta properly watch them after i check the last episode out.
Episode 7: “Finale”
This is it! The last episode titled “Finale”. Can’t come up with any other more obvious title than that?
The last scene takes place in yet another cafe, as the two stirring their hot chocolate. Nic asks Mar to play the piano for him, to return the favor of his cooking for her. So she does, as he narrates the burning question he’s had: “If… she hadn’t gone overseas, does she think they would have been still together now?”
Cue: brooding faces of the two.
“Praha, Winter 2015. Ini kisah perjalanan kita, Mar. Kita yang tidak mencari, tapi saling menemukan.”
(This is the story of us. We who are not seeking, but finding each other.)
Is that it??? Gyahh~~
Who else feels cheated?
First off, the duration. We were promised 6~7 minutes per episode and got only a 5-minute penultimate episode and a freaking 3-minute finale. Once i noticed the final’s run time, i reckoned an unexpected ending, because who wraps up a show satisfyingly in three minutes?? The drama didn’t give us a lot in 6~7-minute frame, what can a 3-minute one do? I seriously think they could’ve crammed seventh into sixth and shot a real closing episode.
Then, that ending, duh. I don’t detest open endings as long as they’re justifiable and done right. What i dislike about this ending is not the open-endedness of it, but its inconclusiveness. It was so nebulous and didn’t make the slightest sense. But more than anything, i was averse to that very question Nic threw right at the very end. What the heck was that? You don’t ask that
rhetorical hypothetical question at the eleventh hour. For me, what-ifs are for what could’ve been, something you can no longer reverse, return to, or have at present. But they are both single and clearly still like each other, what’s stopping them now?
Yes, we finally learn the reason behind their breakup, yet we don’t know their view of LDR now. It might be a problem for their younger selves back then, but maybe they are okay with it and can handle it now, since both are globetrotters? Nevertheless, why dwell in the past when they spend time and space together in the present? Till the end, they only talked about the past, what has happened to date, and never about where they’re going from here.
Nic & Mar‘s penchant for using voiceover is clear from the beginning, and it’s been really easy to differentiate whether it is the character’s inner thoughts or their recorded exchanges. Even if we didn’t hear Mar’s response, i was 100% sure Nic’s question was uttered. We just didn’t know when it was asked, although the pensive expressions on their faces say it all. (Did i see wrongly, or did Mar look like she’s about to cry in the last picture above?) I almost expected, wanted, and wished her to reply with “Why does it matter? Fact is, we are here together now. What do you feel about me, now? Where do we go from here? Do you think we can be like this tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after…?” All of it, parts of it, or an idea of it.
That said, Nic’s closing narration and/or reminder that it is the journey of them finding each other when they least expect it does give an alternative ending to their story. It can go either way, depending on which end you want to take with you.
Nic & Mar starts off light and breezy, and while i didn’t expect it to sweep me off my feet, it ends up leaving with more bitter(sweet) aftertaste than i thought it’d give me. Very nice directing and editing, though.