Movie Review – Ali & Alia (علي وعليا)

TL;DR – A difficult film to watch at times but an interesting look at power, addiction, family, and abuse.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

Ali & Alia. Image Credit: Number One Films.

Review

I had realised that my drive to experience more of world cinema has taken a back seat for a while, so today I decided to change that. More than just change that, I thought it would be best to dive into a cinema I haven’t really explored before. As if on cue, Ali & Alia appeared and well one does not look providence in the face and then blink.   

So to set the scene, we open flying through a town until we land in a football field where two sides are drawn together in opposition. On one side is Ali (Khalifa Albahri) and on the other is Aboud (Mayed al Ali). What is the fight about, well we jump back a little time and we see the start of it all. One day as Ali is escorting Alia (Neven Madi) to the local clothes shop when he is accosted by a bunch of layabouts. Instead of standing up for himself, he says nothing. This upsets Alia because he is not acting like a man. This rebuke starts a spiral in Ali’s life that affects everyone around him.

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TV Review – Jinn Season 1

TL;DR – It has an interesting premise that sucks you in, great cast, great locations, but the story was a bit hit and miss at times.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Jinn. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In a world full of stories you can use to draw inspiration from, it is surprising that more shows don’t make use of the mythology and stories from the Arabian Peninsula. It feels like it starts and stops with Aladdin at times, at least in shows that make it to the west. But there are such a variety of narratives that you could draw from to tell interesting stories. Today we are looking at a TV series that is taking that opportunity with Jinn.

So to set the scene, we open in on Amman, Jorden as a school group gets ready for a bus ride to Petra. You have the usual clicks appearing, you have Tarek (Abd Alrazzaq Jarkas), Omar (Mohammad Hindieh), and Nasser (Mohammad Nizar) who are part of the popular crowd and who are happy to torment Yassin (Sultan Alkhail) who they think is telling on them to the teacher Ms Ola (Hana Chamoun). You have the power couple in Mira (Salma Malhas) and Fahed (Yasser Al Hadi), the mythology nerd Hassan (Zaid Zoubi) that just won’t shut up about Jinn. When they get to Petra they start messing around and Tarek takes pleasure in tormenting Yassin, but later that night after a few drinks tragedy strikes when Tarek falls down a canyon wall. However, the question remains, did he fall, or was he pushed, and if he was, what or who pushed him? Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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