Film Review: ‘The Perfect Candidate’ is a tongue-in-cheek look at the power of women

Updated 19 November 2019

Film Review: ‘The Perfect Candidate’ is a tongue-in-cheek look at the power of women

VENICE: Saudi director Haifaa Al-Mansour’s latest effort, “The Perfect Candidate,” which competed for the top Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival this year, is set in a town close to Riyadh and the ease of working on home ground clearly shows in the work. 

Like her first film “Wadjda,” “The Perfect Candidate” is also about defiance, this time it is a young doctor, Maryam (Mila Alzahrani). She is bent on furthering her career, but when things do not go her way after a missed opportunity to fly to Dubai for a medical conference, she decides to contest the local municipal election. She feels she could at least get the broken road to her clinic repaved — saving those who travel there, especially in emergencies. Earlier, a clear display of her grit is visible when she coaxes an elderly man into letting her treat him. At home too, her two reluctant sisters Sara and Selma come around to helping Maryam when she begins her campaign.

Haifaa’s work may be a rather simplistic way of examining the age-old impediments many women face. But one cannot miss the tongue-in-cheek approach she takes. Beginning with a shot of Maryam driving a car, the movie shows her emerging from behind a curtain during the campaign to chastise unruly men. Narrated with wonderful subtlety, “The Perfect Candidate” also has a perfect actress in Mila, who without being dramatic gives us a taste of a woman’s true power.


RedFest DXB lineup unveiled: Young Thug, Martin Garrix to head to Dubai

Young Thug among the lead acts at RedFest DXB 2020. Photo: AFP
Updated 04 December 2019

RedFest DXB lineup unveiled: Young Thug, Martin Garrix to head to Dubai

  • The lineup for the 2020 edition of RedFest DXB has just been announced
  • The bill includes Young Thug, Stormzy and more

DUBAI: The lineup for the 2020 edition of RedFest DXB has just been announced and it looks set to be a night to remember.

Atlanta rapper Young Thug, Dutch DJ Martin Garrix and British indie pop band Bastille are the lead acts set to take the main stage on day one of the two-day musical festival taking place in Dubai on Feb. 6 and 7.

The impressive bill will also include American rapper Machine Gun Kelly, UK grime artist Stormzy, electronic musical trio Cheat Codes and UAE-based DJ Dany Neville, who are closing out the two-day event on Feb. 7.

RedFest DXB is no stranger to pulling in big names for their annual concert series. Last year saw Camila Cabello and Macklemore delight crowds at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.

In addition to the extensive lineup, attendees can also enjoy some of the best street food from across the Middle East and take part in plenty of interactive installations.