Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving, entrepreneurial and always pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, a neighborhood boy she shouldn't be playing with, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale. She wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But Wadjda's mother won't allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's virtue. So Wadjda decides to try and raise the money herself...
ActorsStarring: Reem Abdullah, Waad Mohammed, Abdullrahman Algohani, Ahd, Sultan Al Assaf, Dana Abdullilah, Rehab Ahmed, Rafa Al Sanea, Sara Aljaber, Noura Faisal, Talal Loay, Sami Hazim, Mohammed Zahir, Nouf Saad, Faoziah Alyaaqop
Hmmm. I should like this movie more than I do. But I don’t.
A movie received with much critical acclaim, winning a raft of awards, and e.g. a rotten tomatoes score of 99%, sounds very promising indeed.
But those are all against a background of this movie being from Saudi Arabia, and then the recognition is probably fair enough: it is a place where women have very restricted rights and cinemas are banned altogether, so for a female Saudi director to make the first ever feature length movie completely in Saudi Arabia, and about women’s lives in Saudi Arabia, is not a minor feat.
It is a cute and light story with very good acting from Waad Mohammed as 10-year old Wadjda. Under the surface of that light story, it is a Saudi cry for female rights through the eyes of a young girl’s dreams and adventures.
Watching it as a movie it is a bit unrewarding. Watching it more as a dramatized documentary on the lives of women in Saudi Arabia it is very interesting, and rather depressing as well. It left me fairly grumpy in the end in any case.
- Does it have a hook? Not really.
- Is it entertaining? Not really. There are plenty of smiles and a few laughs along the way, but the real story here is fairly depressing…
- Should you watch it? Only if you go into it to get a better insight into lives of girls and women in Saudi Arabia – then it hits the spot.