Welcome to the Ending Explained for Dear David, a new Indonesian film coming to the Netflix streaming service this weekend. The film stars Shenina Cinnamon, Emir Mahira, and Caitlin North Lewis. The film takes the classic setup of Cyrano, where one of the characters helps another to get closer to the one they love, only to discover truths about themselves and others. In this case, the story focuses on Laras, a young student who has a personal blog where she writes fan fiction about her crush, David.
The film uses the classic setup to tell a story as old as time: that of unrequited love. A universal feeling, and one, most of us will feel at least once in our time. The setup might be too familiar for some, but the movie manages to put its own spin on the tale. And adding elements that make it feel relevant in today’s internet culture makes the movie feel fresh, even when you know exactly what will happen at the end. The central trio of actors does their job wonderfully, and they are indeed the best thing about the entire movie.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Dear David. Read at your own risk.
What Is Dear David About?
The movie begins with the introduction of Laras, our main character. She is a brilliant student, so much so that she is considered the best in her entire school. Her grades prove her academic commitment. However, to achieve this, Laras has had to sacrifice some of her most meaningful friendships. Lara’s dad left home when she was very little, leaving her with her mom. So, Laras wants to be the best student to go to university and find an excellent job to help her mother.
Laras might be the role model student, but she has a dirty secret. She has a personal blog where she posts very kinky and hot stories. She has used her free time to design an entire narrative around David, her crush, who is also another student at her school, and she also shares moments when they go to church. In real life, Laras is afraid of saying anything to David. She knows she loves him, and that is it. However, because Laras is not making any moves, David barely registers her in their daily lives.
Laras discovers that David is actually interested in her friend Dilla. Dilla and Laras were once best friends, but they suddenly went their separate ways. Dilla treats Laras in the most condescending of ways. Laras write a story where one girl tried to get close to David only to fail. David and Dilla are also photographed in the bathroom, and people start believing they are dating. One day, Laras discovers a horrible truth. Her entire blog of stories about David has leaked. People think that Dilla wrote them, and she is getting in trouble with the school for writing such dirty stories.
Dilla keeps saying that she didn’t write the stories, but no one believes her. Meanwhile, David notices that some phrases he told to Laras are present in some stories. He confronts her about it and discovers that Laras is the real writer, but Laras makes him promise she will never tell the truth to anyone. In exchange, David asks Laras to help him get closer to Dilla, and she accepts. The three of them start spending more and more time together. On one trip to the aquarium, Dilla begins to suspect that Laras likes David. Dilla and an aquarium worker also exchange intense looks.
Do Laras And David End Up Together?
Dilla gets slightly angry when she sees Laras and David getting closer. One night, during David’s football match, she kisses him in front of everyone and declares they are a couple now. Laras and Dilla break up their friendship once more. Meanwhile, Dilla and David spend some time together and try to have sex, but there is no chemistry between them. On a trip organized by the church, David tries to talk to Laras about what happened between him and Dilla.
Laras and David go to the woods during a church activity, and David begins having a panic attack. They begin to talk, and David explains how, when he tried to have sex with Dilla, nothing happened, there was no spark, no chemistry whatsoever. Laras starts telling him a story about a writer and a football player to calm him down. She is, of course, talking about David and herself. She says that it is more critical if David ends up being happy with Dilla than her own happiness.
During the trip back, it is clear that Laras and David are in love. David immediately breaks up with Dilla, and she starts crying. Things get worse when she sees David’s phone and Laras’ messages to him, saying she loves him. Dilla cannot believe David knew who wrote the stories and still let her suffer the fallout at school. In revenge, Dilla goes to the school principal and exposes Laras as the actual writer of the stories. The principal makes a deal with Laras. Because Laras is the best student in the school, and they need her to keep the average high, she will only need to apologize publicly.
Laras goes to Dilla’s house that night, and the two friends begin to talk about how much they miss each other. When Dilla drives Laras back to her house, she reveals the truth. Dilla is, in fact, gay, and she has loved Laras since ever, but she never said anything because she thought Laras would see her as a freak. At the public apology, Laras apologizes to David and Dilla, but not to the school or the principal, which she declares has broken her right to privacy. Laras is expelled from school, but she ends up together with David, while Dilla starts a new life and goes to the aquarium to meet the worker who caught her attention last time.