Film Review: ‘Kandisha’
When Revenge Ends Deadly
If you want revenge, just call Aicha Kandisha – Morjana.
“Don’t Just Call Satan” is an appropriate sentence to describe the French horror film by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, the director duo who also directed the film ‘Inside,’ which won the Carnet Jove Jury Award and the Citizen Kane Award for Best Directorial Revelation and Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver at the 2007 Sitges Film Festival.
‘Kandisha’ premiered at the Sitges Film Festival on October 16, 2020, and tells the story of the friendship between Amelie (Mathilde Lamusse), Bintou (Suzy Bemb) and Morjana (Samarcande Saadi) who have the same hobby in making wall graffiti or called graffiti.
At night they graffiti a couple who are Morjana’s parents, in memory of him being gone for a long time. An old abandoned building is the location they use, to the accompaniment of HipHop music the three friends have fun and dance together.
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Preparing to go home Amelie accidentally saw a name on the chipped wall, she called her two friends to tell them what she saw. Morjana, who knew who the person behind the name was, then explained briefly about his origins.
Aicha Kandisha, is a legendary figure from Moroccan folklore. Kandisha is a woman whose husband died while working as a soldier. Revenge against the invaders who killed her husband, she also uses her beauty to seduce her enemies before finally killing them. Kandisha only managed to kill 6 invaders before he was finally captured and tragically killed.
In Moroccan tales, Kandisha makes a pact with the devil so that her spirit can rise to avenge her unfinished vengeance. How to summon Kandisha’s spirit is not difficult, just use a pentagram (a star symbol that is often used to summon spirits-red), then Kandisha will come.
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Back with the three friends still in the building, Bintou couldn’t believe what Morjana was telling him and took the glass to summon Kandisha’s spirit but nothing happened. They decided to go home immediately.
On the way home, they met Abdel (Nassim Lyes) Morjana’s older brother who had just returned from the Gym, the three friends finally parted with Amelie who took Bintou, and Morjana went home with her sister. After dropping Bintou, Amelie went home alone to her house.
While on the way, it turns out that he was followed by his ex-lover named Farid and blocked his way to talk. The ex asks her to get back into a relationship like before, but Amelie balks at Farid’s request on the grounds that she doesn’t love him anymore.
Overcome by anger, Farid immediately beat him until he fainted and took him to a place.
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As soonhe realized, Farid intended to rape Amelie but couldn’t because Amelie hit him in the face and ran away. Arriving at home, Amelie rushed to the bathroom to calm her emotions, she felt both hate and anger at Farid’s treatment and made her want to avenge her ex-lover’s bad deeds.
Using the blood flowing down his nose, he also made a pentagram while chanting the name ‘Aicha Kandisha’ repeatedly.
The next day her ex was found dead in a car accident, but Amelie didn’t immediately believe that it was Kandisha because she thought it was just a coincidence.
The climax is when Amelie has a party with her other friends, she sees Kandisha’s figure approaching one of her friends named Ben (Dylan Krief) and pushing him into a blazing fire to death.
This is the beginning of all major disasters that will be faced by Amelie because she has awakened a dangerous vengeful spirit figure, especially when she finds out that when Kandisha is summoned she will only kill men.
This made him even more scared and worried about his male friends and his little brother.
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Lucky Bintou and Morjana are willing to listen to her story and work together to stop Kandisha from targeting their beloved man.
However, what they will face is certainly not easy, the three friends must be prepared physically and mentally because Kandisha will destroy and destroy the minds of anyone who tries to hold her back.
Set against a backdrop of modern Parisian landscapes, ‘Kandisha’ often satirizes teenagers who are racism against the bourgeoisie living in the Paris area by using joke dialogues.
In addition, there is a strong and interesting feminist element in this film by depicting the figure of Kandisha who has only killed men for centuries to every woman who calls her for revenge.
Following contemporary storytelling, it’s unabashedly in some well-produced scenes by replacing traditional horror instruments with Post Malone’s HipHop and R&B music.
The use of the soundtrack in this film is very precise and quite good from the beginning to the end, everything sounds comfortable and fits the visuals shown.
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Much credit must be given to the director duo Bustillo and Maury who provide detailed visuals when Kandisha commits murder. Toon Sintobin’s special effects, together with Oriane De Neve’s makeup, also succeeded in creating a life-like appearance.
The last murder scene that Kandisha did by breaking the ankles, the spine to the head being stepped on really displays a visual that seems real.
Unfortunately ‘Kandisha’ had to be disappointed by its weak script, lackluster storytelling, and lack of clear and concise essence of original work. It feels like it’s lacking when telling a story that has a lot of sentimental value.
Even so, the acting of the players must be applauded because it looks very soulful for each character they play. Everyone plays their role well, especially Mathilde Lamusse as Amélie who has a rebellious nature, but still loves her sister and friends.
The depiction of the friendship that exists between Amelie, Bintou and Morjana is described quite well. Teens who are easily bored, rebellious and dissatisfied with life begin to find joy where they can channel everything through graffiti.
The witty dialogues and natural performances when they show a close bond of friendship make us understand, that from the start they will do anything to help each other.
© SND FIlms Kandisha’s
figure is also shown with the appearance of a woman wearing a veil with additional accessories on her nose and eyes, however, Kandisha can also turn into a scary figure with a towering height and legs made of animal legs.
Its first appearance will make you feel deja vu because it almost looks similar to the appearance of Valak in the movie ‘The Nun’.
For those of you who are fans of horror films without jumpscare, ‘Kandisha’ is very suitable to watch because it rarely shows scenes that will make the heart beat fast and feel anxious. was, the appearance of Kandisha’s figure did not look scary, it looked like Indian women who were veiled.
You can watch ‘Kandisha’ on the Klik Film streaming service. So don’t miss out on one of the best horror movies of early September.
Director: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
Cast: Mériem Sarolie, Walid Afkir, Suzy Bemba, Bakary Diombera, Sandor Funtek, Félix Glaux-Delporto, Dylan Krief, Mathilde Lamusse, Nassim Lyes and Samarcande Saadi
Duration: 83 minutes