Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Actors: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani
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.
My score: 6/10