Ketika Cinta Bertasbih I (certificate Teenagers). Habiburrahman El-Shirazy has created many great stories for many good and best seller novels and he is well-known with his inspiring novels whose novels are mostly adapted into several great and successful movies, but Ketika Cinta Bertasbih I (KCB I) is not one of them. This is a kind of romantic drama movie, but you will get nothing whether there is more romantic action or not. This movie took place in Mesir and Java, but the new setting which took place at Cairo, Mesir, cannot give unique and challenging experience to the audiences. This is like a great expectation that the great story will be shown in that film. From the title itself it can be stated that the film can awake the viewers’ spiritual sense. In fact, the concept of the movie, the elected casts, and the content of the story are the factors that make the movie failed in satisfying the audiences’ expectation.
First, this movie production has failed in making the concept of this movie. This movie has reached the record as the most expensive movie that ever produced in Indonesia with its budget of 20 Billion Rupiahs. The movie production has taken lots of time and money. They did the reality show in every region in Indonesia in order to have the suitable casts. They casted every cast who applied themselves to be a part of this movie level by level for about six months and it took a high budgeting. In fact, this movie production is seemed that they just had built a great promotion, a great concept in making the reality show and high budgeting with no new experiences to the audiences. In addition, although the movie took place in Mesir which took high cost, it cannot give big influence for the audiences and the film itself. The point is that the big concept that the movie production made is just like a waste of money.
Second, the main casts that are elected failed in rolling each characterization. Unfortunately, the main casts cannot present the attractive actions at all. Despite the fact that the casts had faced level by level in the reality show, and they had faced the casting examination as well, the result is nothing. Although all of the elected casts had examined by expert actors and actresses with good casting materials, they couldn’t act like them. Also, the elected casts are just a waste of talent. The role play that the casts took cannot give any challenges to the audiences. What the audiences know is that the elected casts must be good casts because they had passed the casting test until the last level and they had eliminated other applicants in the reality show. Unfortunately, it was far from the audiences’ expectation and it was not as interesting and challenging as the audiences read the novel.
The last and the most crucial weakness of this movie is from the content of the story that cannot send the main and exact message to the audiences at all. Ketika Cinta Bertasbih film is about a man who has to struggle for his life by being a meatball and ‘tempe’ (fermented soybean) seller while studying as a student of Al Azhar Cairo Mesir. He has got a scholarship from Indonesian government for his intelligence. However, he began to face a problem when his father passed away and his mother is ill. He then faces the difficulties in finishing his study because he should earn much money after his father death. He has to pay his two sisters school fee and his family’s daily needs. Actually, that is the story really present more about the poverty of the man and his love story. When the film goes into the middle part, there is no special thing. Until the end of the film, the story is still vague. Surprisingly, the story is to be continued to the next film, Ketika Cinta Bertasbih 2. Nonetheless, the storyline is too simple. There is no adventurous thing that commonly can be found in many films. Then it can be felt that the film is empty. No clear message in that film. The story has never reached on top climax. The problem is also not solved. Overall, the story just talks about the suffering and the sacrifice of the main actor without any challenging things. It is a shame when the film is failed to represent the whole story from its best seller book. It is so annoying because the film is cut if the story in the first part is unclearly defined.
In short, the film is failed to send its message because of some reasons. First, the concept of this movie production is poor because the casts who are caught from the reality show competition are too amateurish for being the cast of the film with a big budget and a great promotion. They failed in representing each cast in that story. Moreover, from their characterization, their capabilities are poor. Their acting does not seem natural. The most crucial thing is that the story never reaches the top conflict and the story is too flat and simple. So, do not spend your time by seeing this film if you do not get loss! We do not enjoy watching this film at all.