Due to its emphasis on production, over-the-top acting, and unorthodox directing, horror fantasy fiction frequently comes under the category of being campy and undercuts the significance of the story itself. Unless great effort is put into writing a captivating story and screenplay, these films typically have a predictable narrative arc and lack complexity and depth. Spirited, also known as Jagat Arwah in Indonesia, centres on a young child who sets out on a quest to learn more about his ancestry and carry on his father’s legacy. The Ruben Adrian-directed movie, which debuted on September 29, 2022, is currently streaming on Netflix.
The Jagat stone, a creation meant to maintain harmony between the spirit realm and the human world, is the main focus of Spirited or Jagat Arwah. But an ambitious character known as the Dark One, overcome by their thirst for power, plans to use the Jagat stone for their own sinister objectives. The enlightener steps in to stop this and chooses the Aditya clan, a bloodline famed for their fidelity, to protect the stone. The Aditya family keeps their identity a secret in order to secure the stone for future generations. Intriguingly, Spirited’s prologue remarkably resembles Ayaan Mukherjee’s Brahmastra, suggesting either an intriguing coincidence or a common source of inspiration for the two films.
The story quickly shifts to the lives of Raga, a young musician who wants to lead his band and become well-known throughout the nation as a guitarist. But he needs his father’s blessing in order to fulfil his aspirations. Even though Raga and his father still get along, Raga disapproves of his father’s occupation as a vendor of herbs and medicinal oils, which hides his covert work as an exorcist helping people fight strange events. Like every teenager, Raga prefers to forge his own path and receive acclaim for his accomplishments as opposed to imitating his father. This picture accurately reflects the familiar struggle of late adolescence, when young people want for independence and work diligently to stand out from the crowd.
After Raga’s attempts to talk to his father fail, his father is called to battle a dangerous spirit on a tragic night. As is frequently the case in movies, the plot is driven by a conflict between a parent and a child. Sadly, Raga’s father dies while attempting to tame the spirit. Raga then starts to notice paranormal activities going on all around him, which initially perplexes and confounds him. The hero’s journey is now officially underway. This is a well-known narrative structure found in literary stories where the protagonist, usually a young person, suffers great losses and sets out on a mission to retrieve what is rightfully theirs. However, one can wonder why these tales frequently exhibit predictable patterns and lack the element of surprise and interest throughout the duration of the movie.
Similar to a regular white t-shirt bought from any clothes store, the Spirited story follows a straightforward and clearly predictable plot. The straightforwardness of the picture makes predicting the following events in it simple. For a young kid like Raga, it can be difficult to understand the significance of the information that has been withheld from him for such a long time as he learns more about his heritage and the prophecy dictating his position in carrying on his family’s tradition. Raga had no idea that his ancestors belonged to the Aditya clan, who had been in charge of guarding the Jagat stone since the beginning of time. Instead than taking Raga progressively through a knowledge of his family’s history, the movie jumps right into a battle-like scene, rushing his understanding of his family’s latent talents. Raga’s character is robbed of internal difficulties as a result of this hurry, and his acceptance of his family’s past is presented as a smooth transition. In addition, a few characters are introduced in the middle of the movie without any explanation or reason, which makes viewers wonder how these characters fit into the story as a whole. Instead of hastily introducing them without much explanation, the movie may have benefited from allotting more time to develop these characters. The screenplay may have been well-founded on a source piece, such a novel, allowing for the examination of secondary characters’ significance, arcs, and contributions to the development of the story.
In addition to the script’s and the story’s flaws, Spirited’s direction also suffers from the story’s fast pace. The movie leaves behind sluggish camerawork and a disconnected direction in its haste to get to the end. Although the production qualities are outstanding and feature impressive visual and practical effects, they are not enough to keep the spectator interested until the very end. Unfortunately, the performances fall short of expectations and frequently veer into the area of excessive acting. Many actors, including the lead, are reduced to reading their lines without successfully evoking the necessary emotions because the majority of characters lack clear narrative arcs. It is only natural to want the movie to be better. The conclusion of Spirited or Jagat Arwah makes mention of a sequel, which raises the possibility that the second volume may place an emphasis on narrative and devote more effort to its creation.