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Movie Review: “Dukun” is Worth the Wait

Diana 's (Umie Aida) ritual 1

  • Genre: Horror
  • Language: Malay
  • Starring: Umie Aida, Faizal Hussein, Elyana, Bront Palarae, Adlin Aman Ramlie, Ramli Hassan, Nam Ron, Hasnul Rahmat, Soffi Jikan, Chew Kin Wah

“Akhirnya kita bertemu.” (Translation: “We meet at last.”)

How incredibly apt that statement is.

After being banned in 2007, “Dukun” finally sees the light of day more than ten years later. As a matter of fact, as you read this article, “Dukun” would have played hundreds of times in multiple theaters all over both Malaysia and Singapore.

Yet despite the length of time since it was banned, “Dukun” still managed to ruffle some feathers; mostly members of the public who are concerned that the movie might be unsuitable for children. After all, our PG13 rating might be a bit too low for a film like “Dukun” and 18 might be a bit too high a standard.

Then again, some controversy is expected, given the nature of the film. Not only does it contain scenes that can have a negative impact on young viewers, it is also loosely based on the high-profile murder case involving once mildly popular Malaysian pop singer-turned-witch doctor, Mona Fandey. Intrigued? Read on for more about “Dukun”.

What is it about?

“Dukun” delves into the story of Karim, a lawyer who has lived a difficult life that is fraught with depression, emotional instability and his struggle of coming to terms with the loss of his wife and daughter, Sara and Nadia. It is through his search for his beloved daughter that he becomes entangled with accused murderer, Diana Dahlan.

According to the law, those who are accused of murder are required to have a lawyer. In spite of this, Diana has refused all of the lawyers that she has been presented with thus far, and as fate would have it, Karim is requested to take her case with the promise that he’d receive additional help in searching for Nadia. Though initially reluctant to take it on, he ultimately does so.

His resolve to serve as Diana’s lawyer only strengthens when he receives an offer to find Nadia from Diana herself as well. However, in exchange, he must do her a favour. But can he really do it…? This is a woman who has been accused of murder, who has had a corpse in her home with indications of the activity and practices of black magic all over the house. Is lending a hand to the Devil’s advocate really worth sacrificing his humanity for?

This is a tale about the monstrosities humans are willing to do to achieve their true hearts’ desire.

Is it worth the watch?

“Dukun” is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best Malaysian movies that has been made to date. Not only does it have a powerful lineup of actors and actresses, it also has a solid storyline- one that is chilling, intriguing, and has the makings of a classic.

And while it cannot be denied that part of its hype has very much to do with a story that we Malaysians hold close to our hearts, it is the sheer entirety of the film, from its strong cast to its solid plot, that will perfectly cement it in our film history.

For instance, Datin Seri Umie Aida’s performance is worthy of much applause, her ability to bring her character to life enough to send shivers down your spine. Perhaps it is because I’m aware that there are people who believe in and practice black magic that makes certain scenes particularly disturbing, but I’d like to believe that it is also because of how brilliantly Datin Seri Umie played her part. She has truly made her mark in this film.

For another, “Dukun” possesses a storyline that can be seen as timeless. The lessons that are ingrained in it are relevant in contemporary society, and will certainly remain so for many years to come. The miracles that the “Dukun” team has managed both in front of and behind the camera really cannot be stressed on enough, so I suggest in order to satiate any curiosity you might have about “Dukun”, you ought to watch it yourself.

You won’t regret it.

“Dukun” is now in cinemas

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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