The film follows Emirati 16 year-old Mansoor and Kaltham as they struggle with traditions and conventions on their journey towards adulthood. Bound by family and deeply rooted values, the pair must find the courage to forge their paths.
Mansoor, a 16 year-old teenager, living in a coastal "freej" (an Emirati neighborhood), has strong feelings for 16 year-old girl Kaltham. But culture and tradition, as well as family hardship, make it difficult for him to express his feelings. A conversation with his "know-it-all" friend convinces him that a gift is the best way to express love, and so, he begins to look for ways to save money for the gift without arousing the suspicion of his family and friends. Written by
As soon as I saw the trailer for the Sea Shadow I was certain this was one movie that would raise the bar for Arab movies all over the Middle East, and quiet honestly that is exactly what it achieved.
Right from the first scene of the movie you understand that Nawaf Al Janahi's approach was to make a subtle lighthearted charming drama of life outside the glam and glamour that is often represented as the 'UAE' lifestyle. This is perhaps why the movie would appeal to the masses, because behind all the charity balls, concerts and horse racing there is a different life in the UAE. A more simpler life where a bicycle is one the most important possessions in a family, smart phones are not norms and roasting crabs at the beach could be the high light of your day.
In technical terms the movie was amazing, you have to realize the movie was entirely shot in Ras Al Khaimah, there were no sky scrapers or fancy cars and to make an old community look as charming as it did, must have taken a fair amount of hard work from the entire cast and crew. There were some absolutely sublime shots and crisp editing in the movie that provide make you nostalgic for life outside of the city. One must mention the background score in the movie, it was absolutely brilliant and just fit in perfectly with the feel of it.
Acting department was quiet natural with most character's playing their parts pretty well, but to be fair Neven Madi simply stole the show. Her portrayal of the vulnerable girl next door might actually be one the best ever. There is more character development of Kaltham's character than any other, which is one of the only thing I think the movie lacked. I would avoid discussing the story here in for anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet, but to say the least it was charming.
Overall this is one charming movie that shouldn't be missed. Its one of those immersive experiences that allow you to escape out of the city for a good 90 minutes and transport you to a much more simple and serene lifestyle that has never been shown before in a major UAE based motion picture. Lets hope the DVD comes out soon because this is definitively entering my library!
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