Hedi (2016)

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HEDI-2A bittersweet Tunisian love story, that’s what this film is supposed to be. Hedi is a shy car salesman who likes to draw. He is dominated by his mother, who tries to steers his life into an acceptable version of success, making it clear that he is not as clever as his older brother.

Hedi is set to marry Khedija, who he has been engaged to for three years, and they will move into the house upstairs from his mother after the wedding. Days from the wedding, Hedi’s work sends him to a coastal town and there he meets Rym, an entertainer at a tourist resort. She has a free spirit and is not bound by her family’s expectations as Hedi is. They fall in love. You can see how this might be a problem for Hedi and his family.

Winner of several major awards at the Berlin Film Festival there seems to be a lot of love out there for this rather underwhelming film. It is not terrible, it just doesn’t go anywhere particularly unexpected or interesting. Hedi is a rather insipid character and although it is interesting to speculate about some of his choices toward the end and what they might signify about him as a person and the expectations of his culture, there does not seem enough substance to this to make it engaging.

Bechdel test – pass
2.5 stars

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