This is the official blog of Winna Efendi, author of several bestselling Indonesian novels.

Jumat, 28 September 2007

(movie) Secret

This is Jay Chou's directorial debut in a movie - he writes the script and directs the movie. This is a story of a music student named Xiang Lun (Lun), who meets a girl named Xiao Yu (which means rain) on his first day in a new school. He hears a music playing and he is immediately attracted to her - who's playing the piano. However, she keeps the song title a secret to him. They begin spending time together, and fall in love, but one day she goes missing after a misunderstanding and comes back on his graduation day. Then secrets begin spilling - he has to choose which path to take.

Of couse I won't spoil the ending here, but I will comment on the movie, which is hard to review, actually. The movie is not bad. I give an A to the cinematography, the way the camera moves, the way things are zoomed in, the location and setting, all are way smooth and very nice on the eyes. However, at the beginning there is no chemistry between Lun and Yu (they attract each other but the audience CANNOT feel it). The dialogues are a little twisted - sweet, but often a little twisted. Mei Guey, who played Yu, cannot transform herself to become the character (she's OK after a while though), and the character is a little annoying to me. She's agressive but she's fragile, it's very ironic. Jay keeps a straight, expresionless face throughout the entire movie.

Enough critics, moving on with the good stuffs. The music is beautiful, and the plot is OK (although very jumpy from one scene to the next). The whole movie itself is worth watching.

Rating: 8/10

Selasa, 25 September 2007

(movie) Somewhere in Time

I was intrigued when a friend of mine recommended this movie in EVE magazine. I bought it via Amazon.com (kicked myself when I passed the DVD in Hong Kong Airport), and had a good watch with yogurt and Rocky snacks last weekend.

Somewhere in Time was a romantic classic, with Christopher Reeve as young scriptwriter Richard Collier, and Jane Seymour as Elisa McKenna, an actress. Richard is approached by an elderly lady after his play, and she gives him an antique watch and says, "Come back to me."

Years later Richard finds a photograph of a beautiful girl in a hotel and falls in love with her - only to find out from the girl's later photographs that she is the woman who gave him the pocket watch before. Richard is determined to go back in time, and he sacrifices everything in the present to find the girl in the past.

The ending is sad and wavering enough to make us imagine a happier ending. I like both characters, each of them develops with a chemistry so good that it is believable. I think this classic deserves all my trouble looking for a collector's edition version :)

Rating: 8/10

Senin, 24 September 2007

(anime) Paradise Kiss

This anime was recommended by Wien, and I am a fan of Nana and Ai Yazawa so I decided to give it a shot. I love it!

A rollercoaster ride - both mellow and fun to watch. I like seeing Yukari grow up from a negative thinking simple girl (with plain pretty looks) to a tough and mature model. She meets a couple of friends: Miwako, Isabella the drag queen, and scary looking Arashi who's actually kind hearted. And there is George, who she finds herself falling for despite his insensitivity and carefree personality. She discovers a new world when she chooses to quit school and become the model of their Paradise Kiss designs, aiming to win a grand prize in design school.
The soundtracks are catchy, the drawing a little old fashioned and classy, but very detailed. I love the ending, although George and Yukari do not end up together. This is a story that has ups and downs, but probably one that touches the hearts of many people with the same experience as Yukari - one of them most probably is me.

Do watch the anime when you feel like something different - not just drama but a whole load of life.

Rating: 9/10

Euphoria and a supermarket list

Euphoria - a happiness that exaggerates - more like a burst of hyper energies.
That's what I'm feeling right now. I just got back from Glodok, bought a new DVD player (not for me), and a couple of DVDs (for me):
- Secrets (Jay Chou. I've wanted to see the movie for so long, since I saw the poster in Hong Kong. This is his debut in directing a movie).
- Elizabethtown (watched it with my best friend before I went back from Aussie, years ago, and I felt like collecting it as a memento).
- Candy Candy (say, childhood memories?)
Last night I actually finished writing Ai. I was so scared I would disappoint, because I am not sure which ending will satisfy everyone. I did my best, and I realized I really liked all the characters while writing their stories, each one absorbed my energy and soul when I tried pouring down their feelings. Ordinary human beings with emotions and love - a story on friendship. I am currently editing the whole draft, adding research and stuffs.
I went down to the minimarket during the weekend. It's been a long time since I did my grocery shopping alone. When I was living alone in Brisbane, I did my shopping at least weekly, snatching junk foods on sale. And then I am reminded of the old times, of my precious weekly supermarket list.
- two bars of Dove (dark chocolate, please).
- a bag of marshmallows
- M&M's (peanut and original)
- a bottle of milk/yogurt/water
- a magazine, sometimes
- a bag of Doritos
- a box of Cheezels
- a pack of instant Miso Soups
- a few Indomie or ramen
- a Hallmark card
- mudcake for breakfast
um... there must be at least a few healthy things on my list, right? but no.. there aren't really.
Those bring back memories :)

Jumat, 21 September 2007

(dorama) Gokusen 1

I finished the whole first season last night, before midnight :) it took me two days. At first I did not feel like watching the dorama, I thought it was going to be a cliched sort of series. But I was wrong, I'm glad they proved me wrong!

A teacher with a yakuza background meets a handful of students with bad academical performance, bad attitude and scary appearances. Comedical scenes ensue, followed by touching stories involving families, friendships and love.

Like with Coffee Prince, I like every single character, from Minoru and Tetsu as Kumiko's yakuza friends, Yankumi the teacher, the teachers of the school, and the students (Sawada Shin - the quiet cool guy, Uchi - the hot tempered and high spirited student, Kuma - the big kind guy, Minami - the rejected playboy, and Noda - the stocky simple guy).Not forgetting the detective Shinohara-san.

Simply said, I will be looking for the second season soon :)

Rating: 8.5/10

Buku-buku kesayangan

Kemarin saya mendapatkan sebuah paket berisi DVD e-book yang lengkap. Isinya ada buku-buku virtual karya Oscar Wilde (karyanya, Picture of Dorian Gray, adalah salah satu klasik yang saya cintai sejak saya baca ceritanya waktu SD), Jane Austen, John Wyndham (lagi-lagi hasil didikan guru literature saya saat SMP), hingga karya fenomenal JK Rowling, kartun Garfield, audio book fabel dan cerita sebelum tidur, dan karya-karya Enid Blyton.

Mengingat kecintaan saya pada membaca - yes I'm ecstatic.

Kemarin saya juga mendapatkan hadiah sebuah buku travel London dan buku ketiga dari seri Twilight yang berjudul Eclipse. Belum lagi, hari Kamis kemarin saya baru saja menyelesaikan Stardust karya Neil Gaiman, yang notabene merupakan salah satu buku terbaik yang pernah saya baca.

Lalu, lagi-lagi saya menggeser CD, kaset dan pernak-pernik lain di rak kamar saya untuk berganti fungsi menjadi rak buku. I always feel happy doing that, it means my book collection is adding.

Rabu, 19 September 2007


Ai artinya cinta. Sekarang ini saya sedang cukup sibuk menulis draft novel ini. Ceritanya simpel, terinspirasi oleh buku Goodbye Tsugumi dan anime Honey and Clover, juga puluhan manga dan dorama yang saya lalap :P namun begitu, suasana Jepang yang saya gunakan hanya sebagai background dan masih dalam tahap editing dan research sehingga masih belum rapi.

Ai adalah kisah tentang 3 remaja - Ai Nakaji (bayangkan gadis petit kurus dan mungil, pendek dengan kulit terbakar matahari, rambut kriwil ikal dan mata biru gelap), Sei Matsumoto (cowok tinggi kurus berkulit keemasan, dengan rambut hitam yang mencuat menyentuh kerah baju, tampan dan cool), Shinichi Matsuoka (tinggi, besar, kulit pucat, mata sipit dan rambut dihighlight dengan tint keemasan dan sebuah anting kecil di telinga). Mereka bertiga bersahabat, hingga Sei menyadari dia jatuh cinta pada Ai, sedangkan Ai dan Shin akan bertunangan. Kisah kehidupan kecil di desa berlaut, lalu Tokyo, lalu dipenuhi aura kesedihan, kematian, dan pencarian jati diri.

Setelah pulang dari Hong Kong saya mengalami writer's block parah yang menghambat jalannya Ai. Saya bingung ke mana harus melangkah, apa yang harus ditulis dan kenapa. Akhirnya saya terus maju setiap kali ada inspirasi.

Statusnya adalah: bagian pertama telah tamat, bagian kedua seharusnya tamat tapi saya berusaha mengedit seluruh bagian kedua dan mengubah beberapa bagian penting, juga menambah halaman. Setelah selesai saya akan mengedit bahasa, struktur dan menambah aksen Jepang di sana sini, baru menyerahkan kepada penerbit.

Saya tidak mampu menulis karya lain di saat konsen mengerjakan Ai. Sebenarnya sebuah ide menulis karya lain (karya semi Inggris-Indonesia) sempat muncul dan malas pergi, tapi saya ingin menyelesaikan Ai dulu sebelum mulai lagi.. setengah-setengah nanti bingung :) selain itu saya ingin menyelesaikan kumpulan cerpen saya sebagai karya ketiga, dan menulis novel berbahasa Inggris. Karena belum sempat, saya bertekad menulis Ai sampai selesai baru beralih.

Semoga writer's block pergi dan saya bisa menulis dengan lancar, sembari menunggu Kenangan Abu-Abu terbit.

picture credit: www.luckyoliver.com

(K-drama) Coffee Prince

This must be my current addiction right now - watching the K-drama series and listening to the OST. At first I bought it since I wanted to see Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye. They are a strange couple somehow, but as I watch more, it dawns to me that they really have chemistry. Whenever I see her cling to him and hugs him, it seems that she is really happy to be doing it :) it's so sweet.

Coffee Prince is about a tough tomboyish woman Go Eun Chan, who has to do hard jobs every day (delivering milk, skinning cashews and chesnuts, teaching a Taekwondo class, sewing doll's eyes, delivering noodles) in order for her family to survive. One day she meets Choi Han Kyul, an adopted son of a rich family who is in his thirties and has not found a single thing he likes to do. Han Kyul thinks she is a man so he uses her to solve his blind dates that his grandmother sets up for him. In the end Han Kyul has to manage a coffee shop and employs Eun Chan and several other men. He begins to love her, but he questions his sexuality and thinks he's gay. Eun Chan cannot reveal the truth in fear of getting fired.

The plot is nicely structured, although a little illogical on the boy-girl pretending side, but it's amusing and highly refreshing. I like this kind of light drama - funny and easy but meaningful. I personally like the story of Yoo Joo and Han Seong (Han Kyul's cousin) best. They have survived 9 years together until she leaves him, and then comes back, but Han Seong is tempted to fall in love with Eun Chan. I like how the story progresses, I like how their chemistries just blend together, I like the newcomers all acting so naturally. I even like every single character, it's like they're each made for the roles.

Simple questions of life being put forth here: love, life, career, surviving, broken hearts, deceits, and family. I really really like this drama.

Rating: 9/10

Senin, 10 September 2007

Satu Menit

Dalam semenit
.. ada berapa kenangan yang muncul
menyeruak dalam benak
lalu meleleh.. dalam senyum dan air mata

Minggu, 09 September 2007


Expiry Dates. Tanggal kadaluwarsa. Aku memandang tanggal yang tertera di karton susu dengan muak, lalu membuangnya ke dalam tong sampah di sebelah kakiku. Barang ini sudah tidak ada gunanya, bukan? Jika dipaksa diminum, bikin diare. Jika tidak dibuang, akan meracuni seluruh kulkas dengan bau dan kuman.

Kenapa sih segala sesuatu di dunia ini harus ada tanggal kadaluwarsa? Tanggal pembuatan, lalu kehidupan, lalu dengan cepat, tanggal berakhir. Manusia lahir, hidup sebentar lalu mati. Tanggalnya sudah ditentukan dari sananya, tidak bisa ditawar lagi. Begitu pula dengan makanan, minuman, kosmetik, benda mati, baju-baju, cinta sekali pun.

Ya, cinta. Suatu hari bisa tumbuh, lalu berkembang, lalu seperti bunga yang layu, habis kadaluwarsa. Segala sesuatu yang sudah habis masa pakai, harus mengucapkan selamat tinggal, tidak bisa tidak. Kasihan sekali hidup ini bukan, jika kita cuma bisa hidup dalam jangka waktu yang ditentukan?

“Kamu kenapa, kok memaki-maki sendiri?” Suara Ibu mengejutkanku, dan aku baru sadar dari tadi aku berkomat-kamit dengan sumpah serapah itu.

“Ah, tidak, Bu. Susu ini sudah.. kadaluwarsa.” Aku beringsut naik, menutupi air mata dengan sebelah tangan.

Ibu mendesah. “Ya sudah, nanti kita beli yang baru. Jangan menangis.” Heh, ternyata mata Ibu masih tajam juga – atau mungkin pendengarannya, yang menangkap nada bindeng itu walau sedikit. “Sudah lewat lima bulan, nak. Masih mengingatnya lagi?”

Masih. Mengingat dia yang sudah kadaluwarsa. Di hatiku mungkin masa pakainya tidak lekang oleh waktu. Tapi ternyata, akhirnya aku juga yang sudah mati di hatinya.

“Adakah sesuatu yang tidak bisa kadaluwarsa, Bu?” aku balik bertanya dengan suara kecil, lalu menyesal telah mengatakannya. Terlanjur, Ibu sudah duduk di atas kursi sambil tersenyum. Pertanyaan kanak-kanak yang bodoh. Ibu bukannya akan menjelaskan proses kimia dan metafisika, kan?

“Barang bisa rusak. Udara bisa kadaluwarsa – dengan polusi. Rambut bisa rontok. Air bisa tercemar. Cinta.. sayangnya ada beberapa jenis cinta yang juga begitu.”

Aku tidak mau menjawab apa-apa, reaksiku bisa sangat berlebihan.

“Yah.. bukankah baik juga mereka bisa habis masa? Karena itu kita bisa menyingkirkannya, dan memulai baru.”
Aku tidak ingin menyingkirkan kamu. Kamu yang ingin memulai baru – lalu menyingkirkanku.

“Lalu bagaimana dengan cinta yang tidak bisa kadaluwarsa, Bu?”

Ibu tersenyum lagi. “Apakah cintamu sudah kadaluwarsa?” beliau bertanya kembali, lalu menutup mata. Keriput di ujung matanya bergerak oleh tarikan bibirnya.

Aku diam. Tidak, sampai sekarang cintaku padamu belum kadaluwarsa. Dan seberapa pun aku mencoba, kamu… tidak pernah habis di hatiku. Aku ikut memejamkan mata, dan aku tahu Ibu sedang membayangkan Ayah, yang lima tahun lalu meninggal karena stroke.


While I was thinking
Why does one’s life has to be branded with a certain expiry date?And worse, why does love have to bear an expiry date..?

Sabtu, 08 September 2007

(dorama) Teppan Girl Akane

Teppan Girl Akane is about three things: finding the true meaning of family, cooking, and culinary battles.

Kagura Akane is the daughter of the famous chef Kagura Tetsuma, who goes missing after his wife dies in a sea accident. Akane runs their teppan restaurant Chiyuki - but when the store is being threatened to be closed down by a large company, Akane is determined to find her father. However, she also has to face a competition in 3 months to save the store. During her journey with her father's old rival and her childhood friend Shinta, she encounters a few culinary battles to shape her skills.

I bought the DVDs specifically to see Horikita Maki, who was cute when she starred in Hana Kimi (For You in Full Blossom) and Nobuta wo Produce. But in her early filming of this dorama, I have to say I'm disappointed. Not only her acting is a bit stiff, she seems to ruin it for everyone else who has acted brilliantly. I don't like the circling and boring plot, I only look forward to the end of the episode for the battle result. Akane is weak in character, but Horikita Maki shows flat expression in almost every scene. I only seem convinced when she is in a crying scene.

Rating: 6.5/10

(movie) Seducing Mr. Perfect

Everyone is after this Korean movie for Daniel Henney. But for me, it is the rave that attracts me to buy the DVD in the first place. Heck, it's worth it.

I thought this was supposed to be a cliched romance movie. But it is not. It's about a sensitive woman named June (Kim Min Joon), who falls in love and gets dumped thrice. She's wondering what's wrong and whether there is a love that will last - warm and fuzzy. She meets her new boss from the States, Robin Heiden, by accident, and she pretends she cannot speak a word of English. Robin blows her cover and critizes her for being a doormat, that's why every man treats her like trash. They make a bet that he should apologize if in the end he falls for her.
He does, of course. But this movie is special not because it is an ordinary comedical romance. It's a movie about finding yourself in the course of discovering true love. I think Eom Jeung Hwa (people complain about her being old enough to suit the role) plays her part perfectly. She's ordinary, stubborn, but is the next door girl who wishes for true love so desperately. I feel like.. seeing myself through her eyes.
Get yourself this movie if you are going through a breakup. Or just wishing to see a good romantic chick flick. What I adore the most is the soundtrack, jazz, blues, swing all mashed up into one making it the most elegant movie with the best soundtrack I have ever seen.
Great cinematography too, good chemistry between the characters, and nice outfits on June. :)
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Jumat, 07 September 2007

Closing Cycles

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.
Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

original: Paulo Coelho

Kamis, 06 September 2007


Does a dragonfly always fly alone?
Does it socialize?
Does it feel lonely?
picture credit: Sue Anna Joe.com