Wadjda (2012): 6/10

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.

  1. Does it have a hook? Not really.
  2. 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…
  3. 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

 

Official website

 

Wadjda (2012): 6/10
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