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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dunya & Desie


I really have to thank Boyd van Hoeij very nice site for me getting interested in watching this movie that basically is targeted to teenagers and well, I’m no teenager but who can resist a movie about two 18-years-old girls friendship in a film with substance?

The movie was premiered in the 2008 Berlinale and is based on a Dutch TV Series that I have never seen or heard of, so everything was new to me. This quite good film by Dana Nechushtan tells about the friendship of the two leads Amsterdam-based beautiful Dunya (Maryam Hassouni) and very Dutch Desie (Eva van den Wijdeven) and both cannot be more different from each other as Dunya is really Muslim and Desie is absolutely a westerner.

The last fact and the comedy genre gave permission to tell a remarkable story that definitively does appeal to teenagers, as this movie in essence is a marvelous portrait of a multicultural society reality (here is the Dutch society, but in my opinion it applies to every other one) where everything is respectful inclusive and in the end effectively does transmits a tolerance message to younger generations.

All right, enough about the important message of this movie as this is an entertaining and quite good comedy that many can truly enjoy. Tells about how so different young women are faced with their own life troubles, Dunya is set to be married to a distant cousin that lives in Morroco; Desie gets pregnant, faces the decision of having an abortion and gets the urge to find her long gone father that left to live in Morocco as she recently found out.

Dunya’s parents does not approve of her friendship with Desie, but when the two are reunited in Morocco, both take a road trip to find Desie’s father that realistically, yet this is sort of a fairytale, shows the ups and downs of two young female friends with such a different background. The story obviously has a happy ending, but this is not a movie to watch for the story predictability but to enjoy two unlikely friends having fun as well as caring and supporting each other.

As one critic says and I concur, “Desie has the flashier role, but Dunya with her quiet, considered depth” is the one that absolutely you cannot take your eyes from her when she’s in the screen. Then Maryam Hassouni won the 2008 Shooting Star prize for young actors and she totally deserves it.

Cinematography is average, but improves a lot when the characters are in Morocco, with some beautiful landscapes and some scenes with very good framing.

This is such a nice and entertaining movie to watch that I do recommend it to those that like European comedies with two young women as leads.

Enjoy!!

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