With all the anti-Muslim bile being peddled at the moment, along comes Ali’s Wedding. This feel-good entertainment, based in fact, puts a smile on your dial. There’s something of The Castle’s sensibilities about this one. It’s funny and silly at the same time. Some of it seems incredibly far-fetched, but given what we are dealing with here, that doesn’t matter.
Ali (Osamah Sami) dreams big. He wants to be with the girl he loves, Dianne (Helana Sawires), but he’s been promised to another girl at his father’s mosque. He wants to be the great doctor the community expects him to be, but he doesn’t get the marks. Above all, he wants to make his father proud.
So what will Ali do to live up to the impossible expectations? Fake it. Because as the son of the cleric, he feels he doesn’t have a choice. Ali makes one bad decision after another as his wayward quest to please his father spirals out of control.
Ali’s Wedding is an affectionate and entertaining story about family, duty and love in multicultural Australia. The film sets out to entertain and it most certainly does. The key characters and even the secondary ones are well drawn. The homely nature of the material is eminently relatable, notwithstanding the cultural differences. Not surprisingly, it is those cultural differences that are played up. But the single most important theme in the film is respect for family.
Several sequences stand out, including the opening that has a police car chasing a tractor. The scene is set and it is one to which we return with an explanation late in the piece.
Preaching decent values with heart and humour is one way to redress the propaganda war. And Ali’s Wedding, does that in spades. Rated M, it scores a 7½ out of 10.
Director: Jeffrey Walker
Cast: Osamah Sami, Helana Sawires, Don Hany
Release Date: 31 August 2017
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television