Air Mata di Ujung Sajadah (2023)

Air Mata di Ujung Sajadah (2023)

A soapy Indonesian family drama hinged on one bad decision

6.0

Movie

Indonesia
Indonesian
Drama
2023
FEMALE DIRECTOR, KEY MANGUNSONG
Citra Kirana, Dendy Subangil, Fedi Nuril
105 min

TLDR

Halimah, it’s just a terrible idea to practically steal your grandson and give him to one of your trusted employees. This isn’t even your child. Spare yourself and everyone the sorrow, and don’t interfere with your daughter’s decisions.

What it's about

Aqilla is in love with and elopes to marry Arfan, who her mother Halimah disapproves of. After Arfan dies in an accident, Aqilla gives birth, but Halimah hides the true fate of Aqilla’s child.

The take

Air Mata di Ujung Sajadah tugs at the heartstrings because it recognizes the pain of losing one’s child, whether that be to elopement, death, or to their biological parent. This, with a stirring score, and the tears of Titi Kamal and Citra Kirana, makes Aqilla and Yumna easy to root for, as they try to settle who would best be Baskara’s mother. It’s not an easy decision, and the film thankfully refrains from turning either woman to be an antagonist. However, all the sorrow, pain, and suffering hinges on Halimah’s decision, that, in the first place, shouldn’t have been possible. As the film plays out into its inevitable conclusion, the journey there is heartwarming, maybe even tearjerking, but it doesn’t feel as satisfying as it could have been if Halimah dealt with the consequences of her actions.

What stands out

Adoption isn’t an easy topic to discuss, especially when it happens due to some deceit. Legally, the circumstances of Baskara’s adoption are vague and might not even be possible today, but this kind of story would be familiar. The concept of rich people discreetly putting their daughter’s child through adoption to continue their daughter’s academic and career progression is an old story, one that people would easily recognize from cliché melodramas. That being said, if you can get over the terrible decisions of Aqilla’s mother Halimah, Titi Kamal and Citra Kirana deliver decent performances that are able to elicit some tears, at least to this viewer’s eyes. It’s really a shame that it was for such a soapy story, but it’s their acting that makes the film watchable.

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