What is the story about?
June, a street dog, is rescued by artist Aya, who brings her home, much to the dislike of her husband Ale. Striking up a friendship with house-trained bulldog Kopi, June overcomes her dislike of children and learns to care for Aya’s child Karin. But one day, when Karin goes for a holiday with her parents, June sets out in search of her. As Karin gets lost in the forest, can June rescue her when everyone else has failed?
As far as family-friendly films go, June & Kopi squarely belongs to the Hollywood films that used to get regularly churned out in the 90s such as Airbud and 101 Dalmatians. Director Noviandra Santosa takes every possible trope from this genre in this highly predictable outing. It feels cliched and derivative from the first frame, and frankly gets boring after a point. Even though it’s only 90 minutes, the film feels interminably long, and the characters feel one-note. The ending is overtly manipulative, and quite frankly, works only if you are interested in watching the two dogs at the heart of the story. But there have been better films on Man’s Best Friend, and this film is forgettable when you compare it to them.
In a film centred around two dogs, the humans are okay. Acha Septriasa is alternately sprightly and downbeat as Aya, while Ryan Delon portrays Ale with a role description that can only be described as “dad who hates street dogs”. Makayla Rose Hilli, however, is lovable as Karin.
Music & Other Departments
Budi Utomo’s camerawork feels amateurish. Certain sequences are filmed as if a GoPro camera overdosed on narcotics. Joy Ngiaw’s score feels like a rehash of the music used in the Stuart Little films.
A few character traits given to June, such as her immense love for satay and her propensity to get into any room, are the only bright spots in this film. There’s also a surreal scene in which she hitches a ride in a taxi.
A film this derivative has overdone practically everything. The score sounds like that of umpteen Hollywood films geared towards children, and the plot feels like an Indonesian rip-off of the family genre.
Did I enjoy it?
Apart from one or two portions, no.
Do I recommend it?
I’ll only recommend this film for family audiences that are looking for something “safe” to watch with children. But if you’re looking for a film with a decent story, look elsewhere.