As a film critic, you often come across films that leave you with nothing significant to discuss. In such a case, I sit for hours and hours in front of a blank page, wondering how to start my review. I don't like plot summaries, so I avoid them as much as possible. But I am in need of words, so let's dip our toes into the plot of Ruben Adrian's Spirited. Because the movie, otherwise, is lacking in style and substance. There is not much to discuss here.
Spirited opens with an expository prologue, informing us about a powerful object named Jagat Stone, which balances the spirit and human realms. Of course, some bad guys want to get their hands on this stone, but unfortunately for them, the people of the Aditya Clan are the guardians of this thingamabob. The clan members are pretty good at their job, as every new generation is able to hide Jagat Stone from the eyes of evil.
Sukmo (Kiki Narendra) belongs to Aditya Clan. He is a medicine seller by day and an exorcist by night. Sukmo's son, Raga (Ari Irham), wants to be a musician and not some medicine seller (or exorcist, for that matter). What do you know, Raga is...special! He is Aditya the Seventh and has the power to control time and whatnot. He is the real deal. Raga will eventually have to embrace his destiny and his role. Soon, we will see him fighting demons, opening portals, and talking with the love of his life.
Basically, what we have here is The Chosen One story. Adrian, along with writer Rino Sarjono, has borrowed tropes from all the other movies but didn't bother to give it a new spin. And while it's okay to tread on a familiar path, it's far from okay to recycle clichés without zeal. The movie has a surface-level understanding of what makes a plot like this effective. The filmmakers take out all the meat and deliver a product that is basic and generic. Instead of exploring what makes the dramatis personae tick, Spirited simply moves them from one plain strand to the next.
For instance, Spirited doesn't establish a sense of camaraderie between Raga and the other characters. His scenes with his friends, father, and uncle are treated as signboards, giving us brief facts that are important storywise. As a result, everybody looks like a cardboard cutout following the orders of the screenplay. Characters die, separate, and reunite, but we don't care for them. The Avengers-style team-up or Dru's (Ganindra Bimo) heroic entry during the final moments should have been rousing to the senses. However, it's all uninspiring and feeble. To make matters worse, the characters have the charisma of a damp towel. There is not a single trace of wit or invention.
Spirited is a mess of plotting and mood, and it takes forever to take off. Once it does, it takes forever to end. It has no idea if it wants to scare you or make you chuckle. On one side, you have scenes like the one where someone's hand is cut off by a blade. On the other, you have so-called funny moments, like the one where Dru introduces himself to Raga. Spirited fails to maintain a singular, solid tone. Its title can be considered false advertising because the movie is devoid of energy and enthusiasm.
Get all latest content delivered to your email a few times a month.
Bringing Pop Culture News from Every Realm, Get All the Latest Movie, TV News, Reviews & Trailers
Got Any questions? Drop an email to [email protected]