The film’s whodunit-style story is thankfully compelling enough to get things done: a group of adult orphans reckons with a decades-old trauma involving their orphanage’s patriarch, Mr. Bandi (Yayu AW Unru), and the mysterious disappearance of the young Murni (Putri Ayudya) and the tutor Mrs. Mirah (Ruth Marini). But there is also a varying quality in the film’s narrative that prevents “The Queen of Black Magic” from settling into a terrible groove.
Make no mistake, there is more to love about “The Queen of Black Magic” than to sniff. Written by Joko Anwar (“Impetigore”) and directed by Kimo Stamboel (“Headshot”), this remake has enough painstakingly recreated details about time and place to make it a better-than-average flashback, especially during his table opening. scenes. Anwar wastes no time introducing us to an extended (surrogate) family of characters, mainly focusing on three separate and now adult orphans: Anton (Tanta Ginting), Hanif (Ario Bayu) and Jefri (Miller Khan). There are other protagonists – the husbands and children of the three men, as well as the caretakers of the orphanage Maman (Ade Firman Hakim) and his wife Siti (Sheila Dara Aisha) – but they are usually of secondary importance.
Supporting characters like Haqi (Muzakki Ramdhan), Mom and Hanif’s curious son, advance the plot simply by sneaking into the orphanage, forcing Hanif and his friends to focus on protecting their families from the supernatural threats that they don’t even fully understand (not before anyway). And while the four main men don’t have much inner life, their spouses are defined by a phrase-personality fragment, like Lina (Salvita Decorte), who is on a diet, or Eva (Imelda Therinne), a germaphobe. These characters may not need a substantial story given how much emphasis is placed on finding out what is wrong with the orphanage, but it is often frustrating to see sympathetic actors featured. as means to an effects-oriented end.
I wish there was more to mom and Siti’s bittersweet relationship, especially when they, washing dishes after a big group meal, exchange subtle smiles when he says, “I got you.” married because no one else would want to marry either of us. ” This line characterizes the stale air of resignation that hangs over the orphanage, which is normally located two hours from the nearest police station. Still, I would have liked to know more about Siti given that much of the “Queen of Dark Arts” is inevitably the sins of various fathers and the way they overwhelm their loved ones. This is an intrinsic limitation of Anwar’s faithfully reproduced story as both mum and Siti watch over a place that represents a prematurely buried past that Hanif and his friends are not prepared to unearth.