Teen Drama ‘Dear David’ Takes a Fresh Look at Young Love, Identity and Sexuality

High-school student Laras has a reputation that most teenagers would be envious of. She’s an outstanding straight-A student, head of the student body, a scholarship holder and every teacher’s favorite.

But all she’s worked for hangs precariously in the balance after her dark, risqué secret — a blog filled with sexual fantasies about her school crush, a football jock named David — is leaked and spreads like wildfire throughout the entire school.

Premiering exclusively on Netflix today, the atypical coming-of-age drama Dear Davidtackles head on the journeys of three teenagers as they embrace their sexuality and learn to love the parts of themselves they were once ashamed of.

Helmed by well-known Indonesian director Lucky Kuswandi (Ali and the Ratu Ratu Queens), the film is a Netflix Indonesia original title and stars Shenina Syawalita Cinnamon as Laras, Emir Mahira as David and Caitlin North Lewis as Dila, Laras’ former best friend.

Digging into a teenager’s fantastical mind

For Lucky, it was particularly challenging to delve into the minds of the three main characters.

“The hardest thing was actually imagining their reactions as they face certain situations, as adolescence is a time when they experience a lot of things for the first time,” he explained.

Still it was fascinating to craft and depict Laras’ elaborate fantasy world, in which she is free to act out her unfulfilled desires for David.

Featuring a fantastical forest, palace, beach house and waterfall, along with characters in captivating costumes, this imaginary world stands in stark contrast to the dull and mundane school setting that Laras faces in reality.

“These fantasies are about how Laras sees David and her perception of the guy she has a crush on,” Lucky said, adding that each scene becomes progressively more realistic to reflect Laras’ journey towards being more accepting of herself.

Dear David is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.


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