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Stream It or Skip It: ‘Love Like The Falling Rain’ on Netflix, A Virtuous Look At Teens Tackling Love, Loss, And Getting Up Again

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Love Like the Falling Rain, adapted for Netflix from a novel by Indonesian author Boy Candra, introduces us to young collegians Kevin and Nara, friends and neighbors since childhood, who must confront the shifting landscape of relationships, romance, and their feelings for one another as they navigate their way toward adult life. This tale has of course been told many times before, and with wildly varying thresholds for language and lasciviousness. The tone Love Like the Falling Rain takes, however, is one of careful melodrama, as polite a film as its leads are toward one another.

The Gist: Vin and Nara eat lots of ice cream, wink and call each other “Ugly” from their neighboring bedroom windows, and are pretty much inseparable around campus, where Nara studies traditional Indonesian dance and Vin is a budding environmentalist. Nara, love’s eternal optimist, always cries on Vin’s shoulder when a relationship goes south; her buddy, meanwhile, soulful and introspective, tells us in voiceover that he’s head over heels for Nara, but just can’t find the guts to tell her that she’s the one. We also meet Juned, a hothead fresh from a bad breakup, who seeks the thrills of motorbike riding and rock climbing to try and outrun his heartbreak.

While Vin struggles to break out of the friend zone, there’s an obvious spark between Nara and Ned, even if they at first deny it. At home, Ned’s mom drops some wise wisdom. “Running away from heartache won’t make us feel any better.” And Vin, despairing in slow motion, tries and fails to tell Nara how he feels, but she only encourages him to date Tiara, a cute colleague from his environmental club. “I want you to experience love!” she says radiantly, and we see Vin turn away in tears. Can you feel the heat of a spurned man? Maybe not, because burning love in Falling Rain is at its lowest setting.

The bad boy and the true believer promise themselves to each other. Ned opens his bruised heart, and takes Nara to his secret place, a swimming hole in the tropical forest. And even as he half-heartedly dates Tiara, Vin hangs his head in sad sack shame. (In the nicest way possible, Tiara calls Vin out for seeing her while pining for Nara. It’s about as confrontational as the feelings in Falling Rain get.) When the dramatic moment we saw coming from a mile away finally arrives, both Vin and Nara have to search their hearts for a bond beyond friendship, beyond even puppy love. Will they find it? Are you still awake?

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: There’s some derivative “kissing in the rain” Notebook energy here, but it’s a heartfelt hug instead. The Malaysian film Pulang (2018; Netflix) offers similar themes of true love and betrothal, while Netflix also programs a multitude of lighthearted Chinese-produced rom com TV with like minded lightheartedness.

Performance Worth Watching: As Nara, Indonesian actress Aurora Ribero is the clear standout here. Sunny, vibrant, and delivering lines like “That’s not how feelings work” with more emotional heft than they probably deserve, Ribero keeps the feather-light Love Like Falling Rain from drifting off on the breeze.

Memorable Dialogue: “Let people love you; let yourself be loved.” Nara espouses more lovey-dovey affirmations than a bedazzled zillenial Instagram feed.

Sex and Skin: None. Fair warning: there is one forehead kiss followed by a long, meaningful gaze.

Our Take: Love Like The Falling Rain is unfailingly, exceedingly polite, like a pleasant bicycle ride through the tree-lined streets of Jakarta. It explores themes of friendship, true love, and betrothal with a chaste restraint that would feel old fashioned were it not for all the handsome young people dressed in Vans and contemporary casual separates. It’s easy to smile and laugh a little at such a light tone, but it’s really not hurting anyone, and there are more than a few interesting shots of Indonesia’s lush, wild backcountry. And while everyone knows love is the international language, apparently so is a “best friends forever” pinky swear, because it’s the only English phrase spoken in the entire film.

Our Call: SKIP IT. Unless you’re particularly fond of stock “teens in love” tales, Love Like the Falling Rain offers too few meet-cute moments mixed with too much milquetoast melodrama.

Johnny Loftus is an independent writer and editor living at large in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges

Watch Love Like The Falling Rain on Netflix

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The most unexpected character will be in Zack Snyder’s Justice League

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The decision to bring Leto back to play the Joker in the retooled version of Justice League is puzzling for a few reasons. First is the obvious point that the Joker didn’t factor into the 2017 version of the movie at all, and there isn’t a super obvious place in the narrative for him to be slotted in.

Secondly, Leto’s Joker has become somewhat of a spectacle in the years since the 2016 release of Suicide Squad, and not necessarily in a good way. The actor’s on-set pranks became notorious and drew ire from people who found his behavior unnecessarily obnoxious. When fans finally got to see his intense look and wild performance, it was met with a very mixed reaction.

Despite being a main draw for the movie, Leto’s Joker was a bit player at most in the overall scope of Suicide Squad, appearing in the movie for around ten minutes, with David Ayer insinuating that there were more Joker scenes that ended up getting cut by the studio. To add insult to injury, Leto neither got the opportunity to star in the standalone Joker film (which he was reportedly furious about), nor will he be appearing in The Suicide Squad reboot helmed by Guardians of the Galaxy mastermind James Gunn. Many likely thought his time as the vicious clown had come to an end, but it turns out the joke was on them.

Whether the Joker gets a fully fleshed out subplot, or if he’s little more than a high-profile cameo, it’s just another odd development in the ongoing saga of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. We’ll have to wait until the film drops on HBO Max in 2021 to find out exactly what the deal is, but at this rate we’re on pace for an insane four-plus hour ride.

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Rudy Giuliani Responds to ‘Borat 2’ Scene: “A Totally Sensationalized False Account”

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In a radio interview on Wednesday, Rudy Giuliani responded to his scene in the upcoming Borat sequel that had the internet abuzz. Reacting to footage that seemingly shows the former mayor touching his genitalia, Giuliani says he was merely tucking in his shirt, and not preparing to engage sexually with the film’s 24-year-old star.

“I had to take off the electronic equipment,” Giuliani said on WABC radio, as reported by The Daily Beast. “And when the electronic equipment came off, some of it was in the back and my shirt came a little out, although my clothes were entirely on. I leaned back, and I tucked my shirt in, and at that point, at that point, they have this picture they take which looks doctored, but in any event, I’m tucking my shirt in. I assure you that’s all I was doing.”

News of Giuliani’s scene broke on Wednesday when the embargo for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm—coming to Amazon Prime this Friday—lifted. The 76-year-old former New York City mayor and attorney to President Donald Trump participated in what he believed to be a real TV interview with 24-year-old Bulgarian actor Maria Bakalova—who plays Borat’s 15-year-old daughter, Tutar, in the film—at the Mark Hotel in New York City. But in fact, the entire thing was engineered by Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen and his producers.

Spoilers for Borat 2 beyond this point, but first Bakalova compliments Giuliani by calling him “one of her greatest heroes.” Then, she feeds him softball questions about the coronavirus pandemic. (“How many lives did Donald Trump save?” “Probably one million.”) Then he follows her into the hotel room for a drink. As Bakalova slowly takes off their microphones, Giuliani asks for her number and address, lies down the bed, and puts his hand down his pants. Exactly what Giuliani is doing at that moment is murky—simply tucking in his shirt, maybe—but the entire situation is wildly uncomfortable. Of course, wildly uncomfortable situations are Borat’s modus operandi.

Before anything else happens, Cohen bursts in dressed in pink lingerie, shouting, “She 15, she too old for you!”

Giuliani went on to say in the radio interview that he believed Cohen targeted him in a “hit job” because of his recent work for Trump regarding Joe Biden’s son.

“They’ll do anything. They’ve attacked me over everything possible, investigated every business dealing I’ve ever had,” he said. “And now the idiot Borat is going after me with a totally sensationalized false account of a ridiculous movie I guess that he’s done.”

He added that he believed he was doing a legitimate interview with a young reporter. “At one point she explained to me some problems she had. I actually prayed with her,” he said. “And then I had to leave. I had my jacket on. I was fully clothed at all times.”

After the incident, Giuliani called the NYPD on Cohen, as reported by Page Six in July. He told Page Six, “I only later realized it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me.”

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, October 23.

Watch Borat Subsequent Moviefilm on Amazon Prime

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E-voting success points way to future of elections

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The touch screen interface made voting very easy. Photo: File.

On election night it was more of a deluge than a trickle when Elections ACT began crunching the numbers, and it was all over by 8:00 pm.

Fast, efficient and clean, it was a challenge to keep pace with the tumbling numbers but it was an election night like no other and we may have seen the future of elections generally.

Initial feedback from Elections ACT is that the poll overall, with its unprecedented three weeks of early voting, went exceptionally well, with the vast majority of the electorate voting early and up to 70 per cent electronically.

In 2016, only 33 per cent voted pre-poll, and this time more than double voted electronically.

As well as the extended early voting due to COVID-19, a big difference was the easier-to-use touch screen interface and card, instead of the keypad used in 2016.

”[In 2016] some people were already au fait with smartphones and it felt a bit old,” an Elections ACT spokesperson said.

“The vast majority of anecdotal feedback from polling officials who were talking to voters was that it was incredibly smooth and people enjoyed it.

”We even had a couple in their late 90s at one voting centre who absolutely wanted to vote electronically, did it without assistance and thought it was great.”

But e-voting faces hurdles for it to be extended to federal elections, requiring legislation and a way to cope with the size of the Senate ballot paper.

The other issue is the sheer number of machines that would be needed.

The spokesperson said the federal joint standing committee on electoral matters looked at e-voting three or four years ago but said no, not yet.

He said the Senate paper, particularly in NSW where there can be more than 100 candidates, could be incredibly long, up to a metre, whereas the ACT Legislative Assembly election ballot paper could fit on one screen.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr led the way, voting early and electronically for the 2020 ACT election. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Elections ACT deployed about 300 voting machines across selected polling places.

”If the AEC was to cover the entire early voting period and all voting centres, you’re looking at 600-odd early voting centres with multiple points, so thousands and thousands of these machines, which comes at a cost – not only purchasing them but maintaining software from election to election,” the spokesperson said.

Elections ACT will review the conduct of the poll and send a report to the Assembly.

”Whether we expand electronic voting past the early voting centres is in the wash-up,” the spokesperson said.

Some believe that once people vote early and use-e-voting they won’t go back, he said.

The spokesperson said that counting would continue officially until Saturday, although the bulk of votes would be processed by Friday.

Officially, the fifth seats in Ginninderra and Brindabella are still to be decided although some observers consider Liberal Candice Burch still a chance of pulling back Greens’ candidate Rebecca Vassarotti.

”We don’t put anything to bed until we officially declare them,” the spokesperson said.

Which means it’s best to wait to see if Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay hangs on in Ginninderra against Liberal Peter Cain, and who comes out on top between Labor’s Taimus Werner-Gibbings and the Greens’ Johnathan Davis in Brindabella.

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