viewed on 21/7/04 (Wed)
After the show, a womn behind me commented on the film," So depressing!" She meant it not really as a compliment.
My sentiments exactly. It is too depressing to watch. It reveals shocking fact that women in the Taliban era are treated in the most possibly worst way and all in the name of respect for women?!
The title character has to disguise as boy, later named Osama, so that she can work and earn money for her family. You see, women in the Taliban era cannot be seen without a male escorting. In short if there is no men in the house, which is the case in the story, you cannot step out of your house even if it means starving to death.
The girl's true identity is eventually exposed and she will be stoned to death. There is even a sequence to demonstrate that. The accused will be wrapped from head to toe and pushed into a hole. Men will then walk up to her and throw stones at her until she dies.
An old man 'saves' her by volunteering to marry her. Upon reaching his home, it is shown that he already has many wives, all with their children locked up in rooms. As the wives start to prepare the girl for the marriage, they take turns to tell her, all crying their hearts out, how they are forced into marrying the old man. There is also a scene, the old man shows her a string of locks and asks her to choose which one to lock her up. She cries and the old man thinking she is not happy with the collection, takes out his favourite lock - a beautiful gigantic lock.
The feeling I had was like watching a horror movie. Totally disgusted. The wails of the girl make you feel even more uneasy and depressed.
Expected Rating: A-
(In Dari/ Pashtu with English subtitles)
Inspired by real incidents and described as another film which dwells at one time where females are respressed or treated as less than inferior than their male counterparts. In this case it's the result after the war in Afganistan following after the war with Russia, leaving Taliban extremists to impose harsh conditions involving suppressing women, and in this case from the eyes of a 12 year old girl calling herself "Osama" hence the title, to dress up as a young boy to help feed her all female family which also includes a mother and her grandmother. Although alot of it shown is based on fact one way or another, there's still one big inconsistency near the end when it involved the elder employer leaving the village without any warning, and the young 12 year old girl still continued to pose as a young boy when she didn't need to anymore.
3 out of 4
The mentality is to take a complicated situation and make it a simple black and white scenario. I refer to the end of the film where the girl is essentially saved by a creepy old man by him taking her as a wife. While I would not say that child marriage is somehow a good thing, it is still very easy to argue that it is better than for her to be killed.
Osama is a slow passed film in all the wrong ways. In this 82 minute film, the first 20 minutes are spent establishing the plot of the movie. I already mentioned the time it takes out for pointless symbolism and it is definitely is way to much. Instead of taking the time to establish characters, or make the exposition more natural("If only my husband did not die in that war."),or other things to help out the plot, it just waists the time on long shots, and pointless symbolism.
The main character, while in a sympathetic situation, is not a sympathetic character. We get little about her personality and she shows very little that says anything about her. This is the same with most of the characters.
It is slow, stuck up, and worst of all, pretentious and a horrible start for the newly revived movie industry in Afghanistan.