People around me hesitated and reluctant to agree to watch Jagat Arwah. It wasn’t genre we like and it is carried by leads we arent familiar with, including me ( if I didn’t watch Mencuri Raden Saleh, I would have not be familiar with Ari Irham ). We watched it in Plaza Senayan Sunday evening late. In other words, ‘niat banget’. This is historical moment for me as the last anything horror sounding movie I watched was Jaelangkung which was slightly more than 20 years ago, before then it was Beranak Dalam Kubur which was also twenty years ago from Jaelangkung. Essentially, it is a two decades cycle so the movie has to be super special. And to me this one is it, it is worth overcoming my so- afraid-of-the-horror-movie feeling that I only watch once every two decades. Given the next one will be when am 70 and not sure if my heart can take it then, this is it, maybe this is my last horror movie in my life.
The concept of story is actually innovative and uniquely Indonesia ( congratulations to Mike Wiluan ). To tee up the story this complex story is difficult especially in such short time. It remind me how difficult it is to tee up Lord of the Ring or Harry Potter Story that it takes beyond two long movies to do so to even reach 60% of the backstory. Jagat tried its best to tee up the complex backstory in 10 minutes. For whatever reason, it kind of remind me how Marvel tee up Infinity stone, a bit rushed but it was pretty ok by saving some for later.
The story is about a young man named Raga ( which translates literally to body ) who found himself to be direct descendant of Aditya – a guardian of universe in Javanese meaning. He is the 8th, prophesied to be the most powerful even more than the 7th who is his father, Sukmo. He has to trade off his dream to be accomplished recording musician and trained his craft to balance the world under his uncle. He has his guardians, Nonik ( a Dutch ghost with special healing power ), Genderuwo ( a ghost who is his bodyguard) and lastly Kunti ( a ghost with also power and relationship ). Ari Irham played Raga, Sheila Dara played Kunti, Cinta Laura played Nonik, Genderuwo played by Ganindra Bimo while Oka Antara played Raga’s uncle. Director is Ruben Adrian and produced by Visinema.
This is quite gender bending movie of horror-fantasy-action mix, quite skillfully mixed to be believable. Ari Irham played Raga well with depth and should be decently recognized to fill in the character well. There is room of course to grow the character further should sequel is planned, much like how Johnny Depp shaped Captain Jack Sparrow character to be even richer and more multi dimensional but even Johnny Depp shaped the character over several sequels, filled with trials and experiments. However as a start of series, it is a decent one. Ganindra Bimo definitely worth mentioning in his acting chops to shape Genderuwo character well to bring some laughter and cringe to me. Interaction Ari dan Sheila tugged heartstrings and Sheila played up the emotion well. Cinta Laura played Nonik character well, as if the character made for her. I particularly love the supernatural action scenes as it really bring to live the stories.
The movie is for sure entertaining, full with tension and scary scenes. It is definitely worth watching and I am hoping there will be sequel to bring the stories to new heights. Well done Visinema for bringing this story to live right after Mencuri Raden Saleh ( which I cannot yet move on ).
Verdict : Must Watch, absolutely. For those who stayed away from typical Indonesia horror movies, watch this one.