Dunya’s Day: Review. Dunya (Sara Balghonaim) is looking forward to the biggest day and the biggest party of her life – her graduation. The venue is ready, the guests have been invited and the household help are, missing.
Realising she is all alone on her big day, Dunya thinks that it’s all over for her and the appearances that she likes to keep up will be shattered once the word gets around that her party was a total disaster.
Luckily, two of Dunya’s friends, Deema (Rahaf) and Dalal (Sarah Altaweel) arrive much earlier than expected and upon hearing the news of Dunya’s failing party, they are more than happy to help. It also helps that Dunya is quite a forceful woman and whether they are her friends or not, they are now the help.
Dunya’s Day is a short film from Saudi Arabia and is the debut of writer and director, Raed Alsemari. Throughout the short running time, the story is told neatly and is edited cleverly to show a passing of time punctuated by sharp cuts, even going from night to day. The frantic comedy between the trio of women manages to get in some big laughs in such a short space of time. Also, whether you feel sorry for Dunya or whether you believe that she is getting everything she deserves, Balghonaim’s performance makes Dunya into a character who is more than just the wealthy debutante that the audience is led to believe.
Dunya is shown to not only be fiercely bossy but also desperate for attention and in one particular scene perhaps a little insecure, and it’s thanks to Balghonaim’s performance and not being afraid of looking foolish that sells Dunya as a character, warts and all.
The humour is fast paced, quick witted and one particular scene with a sheep will make the audience laugh out loud at the bleakness of its humour, also dispelling any preconceptions they had about the characters at the start of the film. As Dunya’s Day goes on, the audience may even feel a little empathy towards Dunya’s situation as it becomes strangely relatable.
Whether you’re a rich socialite or just a child whose party has gone so terribly wrong, surely nobody can blame Dunya for wanting her party to be everything she ever wanted.
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