Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

A characters journey is a crucial part of story telling, with most films using a characters journey as their main plot device or vehicle. Coming of age films are a prime example of a genre of film that uses the characters inner journey to further the plot and their own personalities, creating a contrast between the lead character from the beginning to the end. In Theeb, the coming of age plot device is used masterfully. With contrasts of the physical journey that takes place in the film to the inner journey of Theebs soul, the writing is spot on for the trip this film takes.

Theeb is about a young boy named Theeb (played by Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat) as he goes on an adventure through the Ottoman Province of Hijaz during World War I. Along with his brother, Hussein (played by Hussein Salameh Al-Sweilhiyeen), and an English man, Edward (played by Jack Fox), Theeb discoveries the horrors of living in a world filled with war, and goes from being the follower to making adult choices by himself.

The lead actor is Jacir, who portrays Theeb absolutely perfectly. Living in a dangerous world, his innocent mind gets the better of him, and discovers how to truly live in the real world by himself. Jacir plays the role based in reality while also being a smart character, making decisions for himself and knowing what’s best for him. What makes Theeb a unique character, though, is the fact that the whole movie is Theebs movie. While their other characters, and they all do well in their role, Jacir is the only one who really excels in the film, acting wise, and I feel like this was intentional. Everything around Theeb is being seen through Theebs eyes, so for Theeb to be the only character with a lot of depth makes sense. The writing is also great, given the film has the dialogue spread out, with sequences of little to no dialogue inserted into the film.

The best part about Theeb, though, is the direction and landscape of the environment. Director and co-writer Naji Abu Nowar paints the province of Hijaz in strokes of brilliance. Every single shot and every single landscape in the film is absolutely gorgeous. Theeb has to be, honestly, one of the most gorgeous films I have seen this year. The lighting is spot on and the use of on set locations makes for a feast of the eyes.

There are plenty of reasons to see Theeb, whether its the gorgeous cinematography or the brilliant acting work from Jacir, Theeb is a tense and interesting journey through a dangerous piece of history through the eyes of a young boy, and how this changes him, for better or worse. I highly recommend Theeb in every aspect.

(Theeb is playing from Friday 12/4 to 12/10 in the Screening Room!)