‘Sweet 20,’ an Indonesian version of ‘Miss Granny’

The Korean movie ‘Miss Granny’ is remade in Indonesia. (Wikipedia)
By Korea.net Honorary Reporter Stephanie Pradnyaparamita
The popularity of Korean movies in Indonesia is pretty high. At nearly all the film festivals that are held in Jakarta, the queues at the Korean film festivals are always the longest. I remembered two years ago I needed to skip class to get tickets to a Korean film that I wanted to see because normally the seats would be fully-booked.
A lot of good films were screened and I remember one film that really gave me a positive impression was “Miss Granny” (2014) (수상한 그녀). The theater was full and there was a lot of laughter, tears at some parts, and even screams along with the film. That huge impression of “Miss Granny” leads me to great excitement when I heard about a new Indonesian film called “Sweet 20.”
“Sweet 20” is a remake of “Miss Granny.” The Korean media company CJ Entertainment worked with its Indonesian counterpart, Starvision Plus, to make this interesting film. When I searched online, I learned that “Miss Granny” has already been remade several times in many different countries.
I saw “Sweet 20” one week after it hit the screens. I was surprised when I bought the ticket. The staff didn’t only ask which seat I wanted, but also explained a little bit about the film. The guy said that Korea and Indonesia made this film together and that it was a remake of “Miss Granny,” a musical-drama-comedy. Even though I already knew this, I was still surprised because I’d never gotten any explanations about a film when I bought the ticket. That was a nice little perk, I think.
Before seeing this film, I read some news about it and found that there would be “local values” there in the plot, as was requested by CJ Entertainment. In the beginning of the film, I could already feel the localization efforts, such as on how Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr. While watching the film, I really forgot that I had seen the original Korean film because the scenes, acting, songs and all the social values had been localized so well, even though the storyline was more or less the same.
Things that I like from “Sweet 20” are the balance of how the film was adapted, without ignoring the main storyline, but still putting local Indonesian values and heritage aspects in it to fit this market. It really makes the film very interesting to watch.
On the other hand, there were also a few little things that I wasn’t satisfied with. A three-second scene in “Miss Granny,” where Kim Soo Hyun takes off his helmet, didn’t transfer really well into this Indonesian version. When I watched “Miss Granny,” that three-second scene was really huge. Everybody screamed really hard and it really made the movie unforgettable because they were really surprised. It was at the end of the film and they carried the scene with them even after leaving the cinema. I used to wish that I could get that kind of feeling again, but unfortunately not.
In general, however, “Sweet 20” is an interesting film to watch, whether you’ve seen the original version or not. The film really gives some new color to Indonesian films and I hope there will be more such collaborative film projects in the future.