Layar (2023) Movie Review

Instead of exploring romantic, mystery, or horror stories, Ifa Isfansyah is returning to the director’s chair with a new drama film titled ‘Layar’ (Screen). This film offers a unique perspective on the condition of cinemas and its workers, which is rarely discussed in the movie industry, especially during the pandemic.

As we all know, the pandemic has drastically changed various aspects of life, including the economy, education, social activities, and even the arts. ‘Layar’ sheds light on the current state of cinemas, which are on the brink of collapse due to the pandemic.

Join us as we delve into the world of cinema workers and their struggles in Ifa Isfansyah’s upcoming drama film, ‘Layar.’


Synopsis Layar (2023)

‘Layar’ will tell the story of Ani, a 35 year old village woman who is very happy because she works at the Merapi cinema. Unfortunately, cinemas are closed due to the pandemic. Employees were trimmed, screens had to be lowered. Cinema for sale.


This is a story about Ani’s efforts to maintain the only screen in the cinema with all her efforts. Even though she is under pressure and has been losing money since 10 years ago, there is still great hope for Ani to continue to preserve the old building.

Layar (2023) Movie Review

Interesting and inspiring story

As a movie lover, of course ‘Lail’ is a title that should not be missed. A work about film itself is indeed timeless. There is an impression of nostalgia that is always shown by these titles, even in the film ‘Layar’.

The romantic Ani only wants the people’s cinema to stand even in the midst of a pandemic. Having lost for many years did not make him discouraged and lose hope. Cinema has become part of his life, as well as the people around the place.

As we know, the pandemic has paralyzed the world of cinema. Either the actors in front of the screen or behind the scenes. Everyone feels a loss, including the cinema industry.

Review layar

‘Layar’ is the only title that highlights this anxiety. Ani is one of those film lovers who feels lost due to the pandemic. Cinemas whose existence is threatened now they have to fight for. There are memories and dreams that surround the Merapi cinema. Therefore, Ani and friends should not just give up.

Chemistry is quite good established between all the characters. Starting from the local residents, Ani and friends, even the audience who have become regulars of the Merapi Cinema. This simple, engaging, and inspiring story also makes ‘Lail’ quite a joy to look at.

The audience is given an idea of ​​how cinema workers must survive in the midst of adversity. Old projectors, dusty buildings, tickets and posters that are still simple are visuals that bring memories. It’s like going back in time, cinema workers still market their old films using the traditional method, namely by walking around the village carrying posters.

Meanwhile, we are also invited to remember the condition of the people’s cinemas in every corner of the city. How is a small cinema that is rarely heard of means so much to the community, especially local filmmakers.

This inspiring story seems to want to tell you that not everything depends on money forever. Value and price certainly have differences, as well as the Merapi Cinema which holds a million memories.

Modern setting with an old school touch

Merapi Cinema is said to be in a small area far from the city. Like the Senen cinema in Jakarta, Merapi is still surviving with simple equipment. Far from the word fit for use but can still function properly.

layar movie

Uniquely, even though it has a modern setting, the director gives an old touch to his film. The dim tone seems to imply that the film ‘Layar’ is located in an untouched place in the past. In fact, the situation occurred not long ago during a pandemic.

The films they present also only look old films. There are no modern movie posters/pictures, even though the time setting is in the present. Presumably, ‘Layar’ is more suitable to be made in memory of film lovers who had to lose conventional cinemas in the mid-90s.

Rigid dialogue

Even though they were able to interact well, they still felt stiff at some points. Starring local stars whose names you may rarely hear, you could say that these players have given their best. Even so, sometimes they just speak according to the dialogue and are not too straightforward.

This is quite clear when there is a debate between the film producer and his assistant. The words that the producer wants to convey are quite good, as well as the acting of the assistant. But it would be even more interesting if they could say this in a more relaxed manner, not too fixated on the script.

layar review

As for the acting of Siti Fauziah and Pritt TImothy, of course there is no need to doubt it. Their existence is very helpful and further enlivens the film. Especially when they argued with each other about the continuation of the Merapi cinema. There is emotion and tension radiated between the two.

Layar (2023) Conclusion

‘Layar’ is one of Ifa Isfansyah’s interesting works, which examines the struggles of people’s cinema in the midst of a pandemic. This simple, interesting and inspiring story is quite entertaining and provides a new experience for the audience.

It’s as if we were invited to the past, when movie tickets were still cheap and we just sat watching movies – not tied to any shopping center. There are still some flaws in this film, but they don’t cover up the sense of nostalgia and the importance of cinema to our lives.


Zephyrine is an experienced film critic who has worked for many magazines and websites specializing in cinema. She has a deep education in film history and theory, as well as a passion for classic and independent films. Writing style: Zephyrine always evaluates films objectively and honestly, not influenced by external factors such as the fame of actors or directors. She often focuses on the content, screenplay, technique, and personal feelings to provide insights and reviews of the film. Her writing style is easy to understand and familiar to readers, but also professional and profound. Notable articles: "Step Up" - Success comes from the perseverance and relentless effort of young people "The Social Network" - A fantastic documentary film about the birth of Facebook "Moonlight" - A touching story about love and the essence of humanity "Nomadland" - A poignant journey of a mature woman "Parasite" - A sensational film of Korean cinema with profound social messages.

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