Theeb (2015)

Theeb Movie Review

Theeb Movie Review

Theeb is a 2015 Jordanian epic drama film directed by Naji Abu Nowar and starring Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat. It is one of the year’s finest foreign films according to critics, but I disagree as it is some pretty standard fare.

It follows a boy named Theeb who must survive in the desert on his own during the Great Arab Revolt. This is basically a coming-of-age Jordanian ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. That is the best way I would describe this movie. It does have its interesting adventurous/survival scenes with the well sequence being the highlight as it is so intense and well executed. And it is perfectly fine if you’re looking for that kind of movie.

However, everything in Theeb is really flawed. The character development in particular is so poor as we never really meet the protagonist as he is so weakly realized and never a real person. The same goes for the other characters. Another thing that bothered me here is the dialogue which is so weak and never particularly interesting.

The acting is okay, but I never found Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat’s performance to be as good as the critics deem it to be. He is okay, but far from remarkable. The same goes for his character and that is the reason why he couldn’t shine in this role regardless. The directing from Naji Abu Nowar is solid and the imagery in particular is really good. The desert landscapes are well utilized here and Theeb is best seen for its visuals for sure.

The pacing is so-so as the film’s ending and beginning should have been longer. Also, although very short in length, the film is somehow still pretty boring due to its prolonged second act. It is mostly dull during those parts unfortunately. The script is also problematic as the film never has anything truly new or unique in it and it never has any inspired dialogue or more emotional or meaningful scenes. Its themes are so unexplored and it is too cold for my taste. Theeb is such a disappointing movie that is definitely okay, but far from good or great. It did not deserve its Oscar nomination in a year which gave us ‘Dheepan’ and ‘The Second Mother’.

Theeb is a disappointing movie. It has some truly great scenes and nice scenery, but the character development is so poor, the film is emotionally cold and the script is problematic as there is never anything more meaningful or more inspired in it whatsoever. It did not deserve its Oscar nomination at all.

My Rating – 3