This film is definitely well-directed, decently-acted, and competently-written. But, Akram doesn't do much (if anything) to freshen up it's overly familiar plot. It's so basically-executed that when you get to the "shocking" moments, they just feel like melodramatic plot devices instead of being genuinely gut-wrenching. It's not a bad film, but it's not as emotionally-stirring or memorable as it wants to be either.
The film's tale is recognizable and contains tact and grace handling some of the touchy subjects on display. Ultimately the film falls victim to its own narrative and characters that did not resonate quickly enough for me. I was unable to become invested early and it hampered a long term appreciation or enjoyment of the film.
This film was an extremely refreshing taste from western cinematography, giving an insight to the other cultures. While the film runs very naturally and tells a very average story of an Afghan life, I found myself fully involved and empathetic to Wajma’s plight. While the ending is not happy, it is very clear what the producers think about the devastating patriarchal society in which Wajma lives.
A complicated story, a love story, and set in Afghanistan's patriarchal society, making love between the two characters harder and harder. This film really shows the treatment of women during this time and how difficult it is for them to live and love. The scenes were complimentary of the film, but I think they could have used a better quality camera/lens.
A gut wrenchingly powerful narrative that lifts the veil of romance in patriarchal societies. A story told in the familiar format of an American love story, w/ the nuances of Afghanistan. The social commentary raised seems striking at first, but the film does an interesting job of forcing you to see it from a non-American point-of-view. Its morally challenging in moments, but overall a wonderfully directed piece.
What starts as a hopeful film dealing with a budding romance and secret relationship... slowly descends into a nightmare of repression, denial and abuse. It's a big wagging finger and glaring spotlight on the Afghan society's inhumane treatment of women. Bit of a non-ending as well... but perhaps that's because there is no answer yet to these injustices being perpetrated over there.
"Akram offers a scathing look at the repression that Afghan women face in a patriarchal society, even with the Taliban out of power. It's gut-wrenching stuff, and it's clear it hits close to home for the ... actors. It deserves better than the cut-short ending..." - Grant Butler, The Oregonian. The last third is a bit wobbly. 3.5 stars.