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.

Elvis Presley’s only grandson dies aged 27

Updated 13 July 2020

Elvis Presley’s only grandson dies aged 27

LOS ANGELES: A little-known member of one of rock ‘n’ roll music’s royal families, Benjamin Keough, grandson of the late Elvis Presley and only son of the “The King’s” daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, has died aged 27, her spokesman said on Sunday.

There was no immediate word from authorities on the circumstances or timing of Keough’s death. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed only that the death of an individual of his name and age was under investigation.

Citing unnamed law enforcement sources, celebrity news website TMZ said Keough had taken his own life on Sunday in Calabasas, California, a community northwest of Los Angeles. That information could not be independently verified.

Keough was the younger of the two children Lisa Marie Presley had by her first husband, musician Danny Keough, before their divorce in 1994. The other is actress Riley Keough, 31.

Presley, 52, singer-songwriter in her own right, also has twin 11-year-old daughters with her fourth husband, musician-producer Michael Lockwood, whom she wed in 2006 after two brief marriages, to pop star Michael Jackson and actor Nicolas Cage.

She is the only offspring of rock pioneer Presley, by his marriage to actress Priscilla Presley.

Lisa Marie Presley’s only son, who kept a low public profile, bore an uncanny resemblance to his grandfather, widely acclaimed as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” who died in 1977.


Flashback!!!! Backstage with Ben @opry on

A post shared by Lisa Marie Presley (@lisampresley) on

“She is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated, but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter Riley,” Roger Widynowksi, a spokesman for Lisa Marie Presley’s manager, said in a statement.

“She adored that boy. He was the love of her life.”

Her close relationship to her son, whose middle name was Storm, was reported to have inspired the title track she wrote for her third album, “Storm & Grace,” released in 2012.

One of the last times he was seen in public with the family, according to TMZ, was during a vigil at Graceland for the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.

Benjamin Keough was himself a musician who struck a record deal and had earned a couple of acting credits in his burgeoning career, TMZ added.