Review: Adapted from Achi MT’s novel of the same title, Benni Setiawan’s Insya Allah Sah! materializes as a religious rom-com, which almost immediately reminds me to Deddy Mizwar’s Kiamat Sudah Dekat (2003). Blending chaotic marriage preparation drama with some religious niches (too difficult to be taken seriously), the final picture comes like hit-and-miss at worst and preachy at best.
In Insya Allah Sah!, a woman named Silvi (Titi Kamal) was trapped in an elevator with a whimsical, hideous-yet-pious band manager, Raka (Pandji Pragiwaksono) on the day she’s supposed to be proposed by her longtime boyfriend, Dion (Richard Kyle). Under the fear of dying of suffocation, both make a pledge to God for their lives. Silvi swears to be more religious and act more compassionate deeds; while Raka to assist people around him.
From there, Insya Allah Sah! shifts between Silvi and Raka’s disastrous marriage preparation and Raka’s sudden apparitions to remind Silvi of her pledge. While the intention is decent, the shift isn’t smooth as it leads the narrative to become unquestionably preachy and judgmental. In addition, the decision to highlight the comedy parts over the drama (which could’ve been developed more into a grounded hook) makes this film less sympathetic and the drama hollow.
How the comedy side—along with dozens of cameo—takes over is largely influenced by the film’s inability to boil up a strong drama between Silvi and Dion, which is completely affected by the uneven casting. Titi Kamal might bring up zest to the woeful bride-to-be character, but Richard Kyle is completely a letdown. Kyle looks overwhelmed in handling his own performance, let alone bonding with Kamal. He should’ve been casted for a role as essential as that; instead, he should’ve ended up as one of the cameo at most.
As a result, Insya Allah Sah! roots its narrative more to Kamal and Pandji Pragiwaksono, who perfectly transforms into hideous man. Unfortunately, Kamal and Pragiwaksono’s chemistry is uneven, too. Instead of sympathizing to both characters with their own pledges, this film renders that connection into an annoying bond, where both characters feel one dimensional at best.
In the end, we only want their tug of wars to fast conclude, in a similar way we want this film to conclude.
Insya Allah Sah! (2017)
Drama, Romance, Comedy Written & Directed by: Benni Setiawan based on a book by Achi TM Starred by: Pandji Pragiwaksono, Titi Kamal, Richard Kyle Runtime: 83 mins