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Amid a strict Muslim rearing and a social life he's never had, Tariq (Evan Ross) enters college confused. New peers, family and mentors help him find his place, but the 9-11 attacks force him to face his past and make the biggest decisions of his life. Written by
It's kind of hard to review this one without being too preachy, so I'll give it my best shot...here goes nothing...
The movie is shot in two separate parts, we start off in the present and we get told the back story via flashbacks. It's a very useful way to fill your audience in on what happened without the main characters droning on and on about the past.
Tariq (Ross) was raised Muslim by his overbearing, pushy father, Hassan (Smith) and his mother Safiyah (Long). His mother is more understanding of today's youth and their ignorance and pleads with her husband to let their son "find his own way", but he adamantly refuses.
Tariq arrives at college and all but abandons the faith that he was taught as a child. We're not sure why he has chosen to do so until we see some more flashbacks. We really don't find out until the final reel of the film, but that's a good thing because secrets like that shouldn't just pop up near the beginning or middle, we'd all just shut it off. He receives some pressure from his Muslim roommate, Hamza (Sharma) and his wife-to-be, Iman (Bishil), when they "out him" to the World Religions professor, Jamal (Missick). Even more pressure comes from his sister, Taqua (Drummond), who pops in from time to time and starts hanging out with his roommate and his future wife.
Overall, this is a very good movie. The performances alone sell it, Evan Ross does a very convincing job in his role as a confused teen about religion. All of the actors involved did their part --- although I didn't care for Smith's bug-eyed performance, I don't know if he was trying to deliver his lines with a sense of conveyance or if he was just surprised to have been cast at all. The ending was a bit tame for my tastes... I felt that they could have made a more powerful statement than the one that was presented to us.
There, I got through it and didn't even mention what heartless, thoughtless jerks we, as Americans, can be sometimes......oops..... More reviews at www.soveryterry.com Final Grade: B-
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