Ali’s Wedding review: charming film entertains

Osamah Sami (centre).
Osamah Sami (centre).

SOME of the most unbelievable yarns are often dinky di, true blue.

Osamah Sami faked his way into university, got deported from America and accidentally agreed to an arranged marriage which then lasted an hour and 45 minutes.

Hollywood could not have conjured up a more hijinks-filled plot for a rom-com, but it all happened.

Living in the shadow of his respected Muslim cleric father Mahdi (Don Hany) and his intelligent older brother who was killed in Iran, and pressured to become a surgeon, Ali (Osamah Sami) lies about his exam score.

While he fakes his way through tutorials at uni he attempts to woo a forbidden woman – Lebanese Muslim Dianne (Helana Sawires) – but confuses traditions and accidentally agrees to marry another.

Ali finds himself in several awkward situations that has to get himself out of.

Studios spend a lot of time, money and research coming up with the best release dates for their blockbuster films for maximum ticket sales.

While little Aussie film Ali’s Wedding would not have had such luxury, it could not have come out at a better time, finally exploring an under-represented but vital part of society.

A film that depicts Muslim people as relatable and with humour is what we need to see on our screens right now.

One cheeky highlight is Ryan Corr in a minor role as the token Aussie friend.

Sami’s goofball and likeable larrikin persona shines through and is undeniably charming.

It is possible that not all the Muslim references and jokes will land with mainstream Australian audiences – in fact, some may feel uneasy about laughing, but it is clear that everyone behind and in front of the camera have handled the material with delicacy.

It is apparent their main aim is simply to entertain, which they achieve.THE ESSENTIALS

Ali’s Wedding (M)

Directed by: Jeffrey Walker

Starring: Osamah Sami, Don Hany, Helana Sawires

Three and a half stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas now