Barakah meets Barakah; A loop of happy one day then bitter for a few days
Saudi Arabia is a very rich country that is growing economically and socially; however, many of the people of the country are still socially conservative, family oriented and rooted in religious and cultural customs. The strict laws of the country have restricted the youth and caused a gap between the generations. This movie Barakah meets Barakah explores these restraints and the struggle of the main couple against the older generation.
A great movie by director Mahmoud Sabbagh; Barakah meets Barakah follows the main character Barakah who is middle class and a public servant who issues tickets for minor offenses; where on his route he sees Bibi during a fashion shoot, Bibi is a fashion model and famous Instagram star with a million followers. The two later meet face to face and hit it off; but have trouble connecting due to Saudi Arabia’s strict laws and Bibi’s mom. While things start looking good for them with an official date and bonding; this comes crashing down to hostile outside forces beyond their control. The couple face strict religious constrictions, Bibi’s parents against their love and seemingly fate itself in this story of love.
The conflict, hopelessness and naivety the couple deal with compares to the setting where the movie takes place; Saudi Arabia. Barakah’s conflict with Bibi in trying to make them closer to each other is like the different experiences of the sexes in Saudi Arabia; where he thinks of naïve teenage ways to be together with Bibi where she must think of the customs of their country and how if they do it wrong they could be arrested. Presenting the constraints, the two different sexes face in Saudi Arabia and how their culture shifts the blame unfairly to the female sex. Bibi has hopelessness when dealing with Barakah from his teenage attempts at romance to his ignorance of the ways of love; while also dealing with an increasing pressure from her parents to control her and save her to marry someone they have in mind. The naivety that Barakah has in the situation of trying to make this work as Bibi goes through a whirlwind of emotions and conflict from her family; represents Saudi Arabia’s one-sided laws and cultural customs favoring the male sex while putting the female sex down. On the positive side, the movie accurately portrayed strong family connections and respect for elders; which is typical of Arab culture. When Barakah was making a fool of himself when trying to impress Bibi she was kind to him and they both took the act humorously; showing the positive laughing at oneself common in Arab comedies. This restrictive system though is portrayed overall as negative as it holds back Bibi and Barakah from being together reflective of how many believe it holds back the entire country.
The connection Barakah and Bibi have together is displayed very effectively as the two characters contrast against each other filling in the wholes of each other. The deep and emotional journey we went through with both characters spins an intrinsic tale that lets you relate with the characters; giving you a sense of their hardships even if you have never faced what the main couple are going through.
Being shot and sequenced greatly by Mahmoud Sabbagh; he shows the flaws of the restrictive culture of Saudi Arabia while also showcasing the unique positive side of the culture. In the end Barakah meets Barakah is a real story that brings you on an emotional journey that will make you wonder; is their story one of love or just a loop luring you in with happiness while taking you through a few days of bitterness.