Wait, what? What’s happening?! If I had to summarise my feelings while watching the film, Kau Takdirku it would be with that italicised sentence and the bewildered question.
Honestly, the film began faultlessly with the introduction of characters who are engaging, beautiful cinematography and breath-taking (quite literally) camerawork and editing in the opening sequence. However, it seems to become entangled in the third act as it hastily unfolds in order to finish satisfactorily within the specified running time. Kau Takdirku is a love story and unpredictably centres on a love triangle between the main characters, the outspoken yet pampered Alya (Ezzaty Abdullah), the controlling and responsible Kamar (Remy Ishak) and Harris (Bront Palarae) who is the charming playboy with a heart of gold. The relationship between Alya and Harris are that of Shakespeare’s Beatrice and Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing and is quite parallel with most romantic-comedies; the characters do not realise that they are meant for each other yet everyone else does. The chemistry between these characters is undeniable and they drove the audience to quietly root for their happiness but what is a love story without conflict? This is where the protective Kamar comes in, he is secretly in love with Alya though; it may leave an uncomfortable vibe to viewers who realised in the first act that they were raised as brother and sister.
Ezzaty Abdullah was witty and playful and presented Alya as a capable heroine who is dedicated to her education and willing to prove to others that she is able to decide sensibly in spite of her apparent youth. The actress gave an awestruck performance and gave depth to the character especially in times when Alya was trapped in a tragedy though; the much needed independent female character was abandoned in the second act after losing the love of her life, Harris in a tragic incident. I will not go into detail with the respective scene as not to spoil the film to those who intend to see it however, it makes sense for Alya to grieve for her loss as any person would nonetheless, the character should be given an acceptable period to mourn instead of a few months as if losing a lover is like knowing your favourite TV show is unexpectedly cancelled. Of course, there are moments when Alya tug at our hearts with her cries and her resolve to have Harris by her side though; the nagging and insensitive Kamar ruins the scene by encouraging her to move on a few weeks after the shocking event. Gone was Alya’s strong demeanour as she is now seen as a frail character struck by sorrow whose choices are controlled by others around her who did not even consider her emotions and sensibility.
Sometimes, writers should understand that tragedies are not romantic. Romanticism is having your characters not comprehending that the person they so loathe in the first meeting is their soul mate, it’s having their love halted because of family’s perception and in the end overcoming the odds and are reunited with their passion for each other which is basically the first half of Kau Takdirku; the rest of the film is far from romantic and borderline towards taboo relationships, foreseeable battle and a waste of the attraction between Alya and Harris. At times, a simple love story that celebrates true and realistic couples suffice even in the fantastical fictions of the motion pictures and there is no requirement for the burning and furious desire, the forbidden romance nor the outwardly struggle in order to present a story as being an image or even a shade of romanticism.
Kau Takdirku is in cinemas now.