Hidayah (2023) Movie Review

Nostalgia seems to have become an increasingly hot topic in recent years. Particularly with the development of technology and the progress of the Indonesian film industry, old films have begun to be remade or reworked with different directions.

Not only films, the television series Hidayah, which was popular in the 2000s, is now also receiving attention from Pichouse Films, Clockwork Films, and MAXstream. In the end, they teamed up with Monty Tiwa to make a film. Monty Tiwa is not a new name in the Indonesian horror film scene. However, making Hidayah into a film, of course it takes more than just “nostalgic” moments to make Indonesian audiences interested in celebrating it in theaters.

Does Hidayah succeed in presenting anything more than just repeating an old legendary series? Check out bumareview’s review here!

Hidayah movie review

Synopsis of the film Hidayah

Bahri (Ajil Ditto) migrates to the city after graduating from a boarding school. However, he was slandered into prison and became a former convict. Working in a workshop, Bahri still holds fast to his belief and faith to always do good and avoid His prohibitions. Even so, Bahri has a past he wants to forget and a huge sense of guilt that makes him doubt.

After the arrival of Hasan (Alif Joerg), his best friend from the Islamic boarding school, Bahri inevitably returns to the village where he lived before to face his past. Ratna (Givina Lukita) is suffering from an unknown illness and the situation in the village of Mekarwangi has finally become bleak.

Returning to Mekarwangi, Bahri is faced with the fact that Ratna is considered a disgrace to the villagers. However, Bahri continued to carry out his duties to help Ratna despite the torment she was experiencing by doing rukiah.

Movie hidayah

Unfortunately, Ratna’s life could not be saved and Bahri felt even more guilty because he had also been slandered for killing his spiritual “patient”. The situation in Mekarwangi village was no longer the same after Ratna left.

Residents refused to let her body be buried in the village and Ratna’s body stinked so finally only Bahri and a few people from the Islamic boarding school wanted to bury her. Bahri is ultimately blamed for the calamity that befell the villagers after Ratna’s death.

One by one the victims fell, Bahri was faced with an inner conflict which made him receive guidance to strengthen his faith and resolve all problems to the end.

Interpret Hidayah in a different way

The millennial generation and the previous generation certainly know very well how the sense of horror from the television series Hidayah haunted them at their time. The fear that is built is not the fear of ghosts, but the fear of the “punishment” given by God because of various actions in life.

Initially, bumareview also thought that Monti Tiwa would bring this film to be like the television series. However, it turned out that Hidayah exceeded Buma expectations.

Review hidayah

Unexpectedly, this film presents Hidayah in a different way. Indeed, there is still an old formula like a corpse that smells bad, then the villagers who reject the corpse are buried in the village. However, in the end this film is not meant to show guidance for the villagers, but rather guidance for Bahri, who until now has unknowingly doubted the greatness of God and his own strength.

So, even though the plot is still predictable with a formula similar to the series, Buma can still enjoy this film as an independent entity, while still feeling nostalgic for the television series.

Potential religious element but feels less “sharp”

Unfortunately, as an ustadz who can make money, Bahri looks too “convincing” and maybe this is also what makes his colleagues in the city consider Bahri’s status as an ustadz as a joke. Apart from that, only the scoring effect helps Bahri look serious and makes goosebumps with his prayers. To be honest, Buma actually feels that the religious elements in this film lack depth and prominence. Even though the storyline is supportive!

hidayah Review

Apart from the existence of the pesantren and the figure of the Kyai who owns the pondok, it seems that there is nothing else that is relevant to Islam and the life of the pesantren. Yes, when male and female students could easily meet, let alone seduce someone, was this really pesantren life at that time?

I feel that the religious element that is included in the drama of a woman who works as a prostitute and experiences a bitter death needs to be refined.

Acting is supported by appropriate scoring

You must know that there are lots of Hidayah scenes on television that have recently become memes. The film Hidayah managed to appear with a score that gave goosebumps. Andi Rianto’s scoring succeeded in building the moment needed.

Nothing less, nothing more, everything feels just right and effective. Because of that, the moment when Bahri finally realized and received His guidance was very touching. Plus when Bahri thanked Hasan. Unfortunately, Bahri’s acting feels a bit flat.

In fact, what Buma needs to highlight is Unique Priscilla who plays the role of Hesti or Ratna’s mother. Her role as a mother who accepts her child’s fate with sincerity and feels sadness when Ratna ends up like now, her expression is irreplaceable.


Givina also played Ratna well and managed to show how someone who experiences long suffering for her own choices. He feels guilty, but also needs help. Meanwhile, Dewi Yull as Umi is also the only character who can speak Sundanese naturally.

Hidayah does bring pleasant nostalgia. However, if Buma says this film is a religious horror film, the horror element in this film is not fully described. The appearance of Pocong Ratna also makes us feel uncomfortable with this film. The problem is, the pocong is too contrived as long as it’s a doll. In addition, the move to interpret “guidance” in a different way provides a fresh story for the religious elements of this film.

Are you curious about Hidayah? This film has been showing since Thursday, January 12, 2023 in Indonesian cinemas. If you’ve watched it, share your opinion in the comments column, okay!


Zephyrine is an experienced film critic who has worked for many magazines and websites specializing in cinema. She has a deep education in film history and theory, as well as a passion for classic and independent films. Writing style: Zephyrine always evaluates films objectively and honestly, not influenced by external factors such as the fame of actors or directors. She often focuses on the content, screenplay, technique, and personal feelings to provide insights and reviews of the film. Her writing style is easy to understand and familiar to readers, but also professional and profound. Notable articles: "Step Up" - Success comes from the perseverance and relentless effort of young people "The Social Network" - A fantastic documentary film about the birth of Facebook "Moonlight" - A touching story about love and the essence of humanity "Nomadland" - A poignant journey of a mature woman "Parasite" - A sensational film of Korean cinema with profound social messages.

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