Anonymously Yours Review: Love That Grows From Text Messages


 Making a romantic film for teenagers is not easy. To be able to make films with this genre, filmmakers must present stories that are easy to digest, interesting, and not clichéd.

Not many romantic teen films meet these criteria, one of which is “Anonymously Yours” (2021). This Mexican film does offer some interesting things, but unfortunately there are still a number of clichés that are still presented.

Story ideas and cinematography are two of the most interesting things in this 101 minute long film. The film itself is about a girl named Vale who gets a message from an anonymous figure. The message was interesting enough that he didn't hesitate to reply. The two decided to send each other text messages, on the condition that they were not allowed to call or send voice messages. Vale falls in love with the anonymous figure, the person who is actually always close to him. The idea of ​​the story is really interesting, where the main character is made to fall in love through text messages, not through the meet cute scene typical of romantic films.

The cinematography uses a lot of medium shots and color grading that looks colorful. The color element in this film makes its visual appearance somewhat similar to the “Sex Education” series (2019). The visual aspect is even more interesting thanks to the presence of Bruce Lee film footage, as well as visual effects in the form of sentences displayed in eye-catching fonts and colors. Apart from the visual aspect, this film has an appeal in the form of a catchy film soundtrack, where all the soundtracks are composed and sung by Jessica Mellott.

All interesting aspects that unfortunately have to be tarnished from the many aspects that flop in this film. The first aspect is the execution of the idea that is not optimal. There are many scenes that feel cliche, one of which is the moment Vale meets Alex (Ralf) who will later be known as the anonymous figure that Vale dreams of. The meeting occurred when both of them received punishment from their respective teachers. A moment that is commonly found in a number of romantic teen films, even in Indonesian teen films.

The typical clichés of teen films, such as club parties and farewell parties, are still presented in this film, with executions that are no less clichéd. The conflict presented in this film has a rather long-winded resolution, thus making the film over-duration. Not to mention the presence of an antagonist who, instead of being the creator of an interesting conflict, becomes an annoying figure who doesn't really need to appear in this film.

The characterization of the characters is still so cliché. Vale is a typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG) who is easy to love, has a love interest figure, but has difficulty approaching the person she likes. Alex is a typical teenage boy character who is handsome and smart, but sucks in the realm of love. Lina (Alicia Velez) and Regina (Estefe Merelles) are sidekick besties who never tire of providing support and input, especially about love. The slight difference is Lina, who is described as a non-binary figure who is dating Regina. All the characters were then executed with so-so acting; not too bad but not too impressive either.

Especially for Vale and Alex, both of them are unable to show convincing chemistry as two teenagers who actually like each other, but are still hesitant and often misunderstand. In fact, both of them are faced with many scenes that require them to create convincing chemistry. The failure of these two characters makes the romantic element of this film tasteless. The only romantic thing in this film is actually present through Vale's love for films which is so great.

“Anonymously Yours” is another example of how difficult it is to make a romantic film for teenagers. Maybe this filmmaker is still using some clichés to make his film easy for the audience to digest, but that actually makes the film a flop.

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