Friday 18 August 2023

Review of Wadjda (2012) Movie: A Touching Tale of Determination

Review of Wadjda (2012) Movie

Wadjda movie poster

Wadjda is a 2012 film written and directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, marking her as the first female director in Saudi Arabia. The movie made history for its theme and being shot entirely in Saudi Arabia. The story follows the titular character, a 10-year-old girl who dreams of owning a green bicycle. However, she faces various challenges in a conservative society that disapproves of women riding bicycles. The film is a heartwarming yet poignant account of a little girl's determination to have a bike and her mother's struggle with the patriarchal system.

The movie showcases the harsh reality of women's lives in Saudi Arabia, where strict societal norms govern their every move. It also highlights the nuances of motherhood and gender expectations among family members. The film's tone is both playful and sobering, evoking emotions of joy, sadness, and sympathy. It brings to light the importance of female empowerment and the battle for gender equality.

The performances by lead actors Waad Mohammed and Reem Abdullah were exceptional, with the latter impressing critics and audiences with her nuanced portrayal of an overworked and pained mother. The movie's climax will leave you with a sense of hope and optimism for the little girl and all Saudi Arabian women.

In conclusion, Wadjda is an excellent movie that will make you laugh, cry, and ponder about societal norms and gender expectations. It is a masterpiece that celebrates the human spirit and the power of resilience. This film is a must-watch for anyone who seeks to understand the complexities of gender and cultural norms in Saudi Arabia.

Plot Summary Review Wadjda (2012) Movie

Poster of Wadjda movie

Wadjda is a 2012 movie directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour which tells a story of a 10-year old girl named Wadjda who dreams of owning a green bicycle to race with the boys in her neighborhood. However, Wadjda's mother forbids her from buying a bicycle as it is not appropriate for a girl. Despite this, Wadjda is determined to find a way to buy the bicycle herself.

The movie continues to depict how Wadjda raises money for the bicycle secretly by joining a Quran Recitation competition at her school. She is determined to win the prize money to buy the green bicycle, which she constantly admires and dreams of having.

Throughout the movie, Wadjda faces challenges from the people around her who try to limit her freedom and limit her dreams. Her mother and the headmistress of her school constantly remind her that she is a girl and has to learn the ways of the conservative society she is living in.

This movie is a heartwarming tale of a young girl's determination to fulfill her dreams despite the societal constraints placed on her. The story showcases the struggles faced by women in conservative societies and the importance of empowerment and individualism. The movie is well-written and directed, and the performances of the cast are superb. It is definitely a must-watch for people of all ages.

Characters and their backgrounds Review Wadjda (2012) Movie

Characters and their backgrounds Review Wadjda (2012) Movie

Wadjda is a 2012 movie about a young girl named Wadjda who lives in Saudi Arabia and dreams of owning a green bicycle. The movie explores various themes such as gender inequality and societal expectations. The characters and their backgrounds in the movie play crucial roles in driving the plot forward.

Wadjda's character is a compelling one. As the protagonist, she is determined, independent, and strong-willed. Her background as a girl in a male-dominated society forces her to navigate through societal norms and expectations. Wadjda's mother is another character with an interesting background. Her marriage is on the rocks due to her inability to conceive a male child, which is a significant concern in a society that values male children more than females.

The school principal, Ms. Hussa, is another character who plays a vital role in the movie. Her background as a strict and conservative woman is a stark contrast to Wadjda's independent and rebellious personality. Ms. Hussa's opinion of Wadjda's behavior reflects the societal expectations of young girls in Saudi Arabia.

Overall, the characters and their backgrounds play crucial roles in the movie's plot and themes. They provide an insight into the societal norms and expectations in Saudi Arabia, making the movie an excellent portrayal of the kingdom's culture.

In conclusion, Wadjda is worth watching for its excellent portrayal of Saudi Arabia's cultural and societal norms and how the characters navigate through them.

Setting and Location Review of Wadjda (2012) Movie

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Wadjda Movie

The Setting

Wadjda is a ground-breaking Saudi Arabian movie, and the setting emphasizes this fact. It takes place in Riyadh, one of the country's biggest cities, where Wadjda (played by Waad Mohammed) lives with her family. The movie showcases the traditional and conservative nature of the city, where women have limited access to education, entertainment, and mobility. However, the modernization and development of the city are evident, with skyscrapers and shopping centers crowding the skyline.

The Locations

The movie features several distinct locations, each with its distinct importance and relevance to the storyline. Wadjda's school is a rundown building with limited resources, and the students must follow a strict dress code. It reflects the lack of attention given to girls' education, and the impoverished state of the educational system. The local mall, on the other hand, portrays the same consumerism and globalization found in every part of the world. It is a stark contrast to the conservative nature of the country and offers a glimpse of the changes happening.

The Context

The movie's setting and location play a crucial role in emphasizing the movie's primary themes: women's empowerment, gender equality, and cultural traditions. It highlights the challenges faced by girls like Wadjda in a male-dominated society while also showcasing the slow and steady changes witnessed. The location, coupled with the naturalistic acting style and authentic dialogue, add a layer of authenticity and realism to the movie.

In conclusion, Wadjda's setting and location are perfectly aligned with the movie's themes and story. The contrast between modernity and traditions, the struggles faced by women, and the societal pressure to conform are eloquently portrayed through the setting and locations. Overall, it's a delicate balance that adds to the movie's credibility while remaining engaging and entertaining.

Cinematography and Visual Effects Review: Wadjda (2012) Movie

Wadjda Movie Review

The Film

Wadjda is a 2012 Saudi Arabian drama film that showcases the life of a young girl named Wadjda, who is trying to buy a bike, despite resistance from her family and society. The movie portrays the struggles of being a girl in a society with strict gender roles and how women in Saudi Arabia have limited autonomy. It is an eye-opener and a fantastic film that captivates viewers. The movie was directed by Haifaa al-Mansour, the first female filmmaker from Saudi Arabia.


The cinematography and visuals of Wadjda are breath-taking. The movie was shot in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, using a digital camera, which depicts the city's authentic landscape. The camera work captures Wadjda's world beautifully and delicately, emphasizing her point of view. The movie's color palette is gorgeous, with bright pinks and reds contrasting with the dull browns and grays of Saudi Arabia. The camera work is perfect, and the framing is outstanding, providing a beautiful representation of the story.

Visual Effects

Wadjda does not use many visual effects; however, the ones that are used are excellent. The film heavily relies on practical effects, which make the story appear more genuine and raw. The visual effects team did an excellent job of leveraging practical effects to communicate the story's tension, such as when Wadjda was being watched by her schoolmistress. The film's visual effects never distract from the story and are always in service of it.

The cinematography and visual effects of Wadjda are impeccable. The movie is a brilliant example of how to tell a compelling story visually without compromising on substance. The visuals and cinematography enhance the story and provide more depth to the characters' emotions and their struggles. Overall, Wadjda is a must-watch film that will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you emotionally moved.

Sound and Music Review of Wadjda (2012) Movie

sound and music review Wadjda (2012) movie

The Soundtrack

The soundtrack of Wadjda is a perfect blend of modern and traditional music. The Arabic songs that are used in the movie take you to the heart of Saudi Arabia, and the modern music complements the story's contemporary themes. The soundtrack is composed by Max Richter, and it sets the mood for the film perfectly. The music enhances the emotions, and it also brings a sense of authenticity to the setting of the movie.

The Sound Design

The sound design of Wadjda is impressive. The ambient sounds and the dialogue are clear and easy to understand. The sound effects have been used skillfully to draw attention to important moments of the story. For example, the sound of a bicycle chain provides a powerful sonic motif that echoes throughout the movie. The sound design makes the world of Wadjda feel real, and it connects you to the story on an emotional level.

The Use of Silence

The use of silence in Wadjda is powerful. There are moments when the absence of sound creates tension and adds depth to the scene. The silence gives the viewers a chance to reflect on what's happening on the screen and creates a sense of anticipation. The filmmaker uses silence to convey a sense of isolation and loneliness, which is an essential part of the movie's story.

The Overall Sound Experience

The sound and music of Wadjda are integral parts of the movie's storytelling. They create a richly textured world that immerses you in the story. The sound design, music, and use of silence are all used expertly to evoke the emotions and themes of the movie. As a result, the sound and music of Wadjda greatly enhance the cinematic experience. It's a must-watch for anyone who enjoys exceptional sound and music in a movie.

Themes and Messages Conveyed Review Wadjda (2012) Movie

Wadjda Movie Review

Wadjda is a 2012 drama film set in Saudi Arabia that tells the story of a rebellious 10-year-old girl named Wadjda who dreams of owning a bicycle, something frowned upon for girls in her conservative country. The film tackles several themes, particularly gender inequality, the power of women, and the pervading sexism in Saudi society.

The movie's central message is about the importance of standing up for what you believe in despite the opposition you may face. Wadjda, a young girl, is determined to buy a bike despite being told that bicycles are not suitable for girls by her society. She goes on to enter a Quran competition in her school to win the necessary funds for the bicycle. Her strong will and determination are symbolic of the power that women have and how they can use it to overcome societal constraints.

The themes of the movie related to the plight of women in Saudi society, such as the restrictions that they face and their struggle for equal treatment. Wadjda's mother, for example, is unable to afford her own means of transportation and must rely on her male driver, showing that women's transportation in Saudi Arabia is severely limited. The film highlights the need for the empowerment of women, offering a positive affirmation of female autonomy.

In conclusion, Wadjda is an inspiring movie that deals with the challenges faced by women in Saudi Arabia. Its themes of gender inequality, the power of women, and societal constraints on women are powerful and thought-provoking. It is a film that inspires viewers to stand up for themselves, their desires, and their beliefs. Wadjda is a must-watch movie not only for feminists but for anyone who values the empowerment of women in society.

Critical Reception and Reviews of "Wadjda" (2012) Movie

Wadjda movie poster

"Wadjda" is a groundbreaking movie directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour and released in 2012. The film tells the story of Wadjda, a young Saudi girl who dreams of owning a bicycle, in a society where girls and women face many restrictions. The movie received critical acclaim for its portrayal of gender dynamics in Saudi Arabia and its themes of female empowerment and rebellion.

Critics praised the film for its authentic and nuanced representation of a society not often seen on-screen and its ability to balance social commentary with a compelling narrative. The movie was a hit on the festival circuit, winning awards at the Venice Film Festival, the Dubai International Film Festival, and the Rotterdam Film Festival.

Roger Ebert, the renowned film critic, gave the movie four out of four stars, calling it "a wonderful and touching movie." The New York Times' A.O. Scott also praised the film, writing that it "turns a bright, steady gaze on a society that is still largely unknown and opaque to many outsiders."

"Wadjda" was also a commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing Saudi Arabian film of all time. The movie's message of female empowerment resonated with audiences around the world and helped spark conversations about gender inequality in Saudi Arabia.

Overall, "Wadjda" is a must-see film that offers a unique look at Saudi Arabian society and tells a powerful story about the strength of young girls. It received critical acclaim and launched Haifaa Al-Mansour to international recognition as a talented director.

Box Office Performance and Awards Won Review Wadjda (2012) Movie

Box Office Performance and Awards Won Review Wadjda (2012) Movie

Wadjda is a 2012 Saudi Arabian drama film that was directed by Haifaa al-Mansour. The movie tells the story of an enterprising and strong-willed young girl named Wadjda who dreams of owning a bicycle despite the strict gender norms of her culture. The film was well-received by audiences around the world, earning critical acclaim and numerous nominations and awards.

In terms of box office performance, Wadjda was a modest success. The movie grossed around $1.3 million worldwide, with most of its revenue coming from international markets. This is especially impressive considering that the film was shot entirely on location in Saudi Arabia and made with a budget of just $1.5 million.

Despite its relatively low box office sales, however, Wadjda was a major awards contender. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at both the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards, making it the first-ever Saudi Arabian film to receive a nomination from the latter. Additionally, the movie won several awards at various film festivals, including the Venice Film Festival, the Dubai International Film Festival, and the Stockholm International Film Festival.

Overall, Wadjda is a compelling and moving film that tackles important themes related to gender, culture, and tradition. While it may not have been a commercial blockbuster, the movie's critical and awards success speak to its impact and significance both within Saudi Arabian cinema and on the global stage.

Conclusion Review Wadjda (2012) Movie

Wadjda movie review

Wadjda is a compelling and touching movie that provides a glimpse into the hard life of young people in Saudi Arabia. Haifaa Al-Mansour directed and wrote the film, becoming the first Saudi Arabian woman to direct a feature-length movie. The film tells the story of a young girl, Wadjda, who yearns to have a bicycle so that she can race against her friend Abdullah.

The movie is emotional and touching, it raises important issues about gender norms and cultural traditions, particularly regarding women and their role in society. The viewer will appreciate the inspiring faith of a young girl in a male-dominated culture, where women's rights and freedom are strictly curtailed.

The storytelling is soulful and authentic, leading to a powerful connection between the audience and the characters. Wadjda is an empowering and timely movie, one that leaves a lasting impact on its viewers, regardless of their cultural background.

In conclusion, Wadjda is a must-watch movie that shines a light on the harsh realities of life in Saudi Arabia and the struggles of young women in a patriarchal society. Its poignant storytelling and relatable characters ensure that the movie is an engaging and thought-provoking narrative that lingers long after it's over.

Review: Wadjda (2012) Movie

If you're looking for a feel-good movie that sends a powerful message, Wadjda should be at the top of your list. This 2012 film from Saudi Arabian director Haifaa al-Mansour tells the story of Wadjda, a spunky 10-year-old girl who dreams of owning a bicycle despite living in a conservative society where girls are discouraged from riding bikes.

The movie is a beautiful portrayal of a young girl's resilience and determination to break free from societal norms. Wadjda's character is relatable and her story is heartwarming, making it a must-watch for anyone who wants to see the power of determination in action.

Aside from the heartwarming storyline, the cinematography is also noteworthy. The film showcases the beauty of Saudi Arabia, from the dusty streets to the stunning landscapes. The director's careful attention to detail and the use of symbolism throughout the movie make for a visually stunning experience.

Overall, Wadjda is an excellent film that delivers a powerful message about breaking free from societal expectations and following your dreams. It is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates good cinema with a strong and uplifting message.

So, what are you waiting for? Go grab your popcorn and get ready to be inspired by Wadjda!

Until next time, happy watching!

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Review Wadjda (2012) Movie