Wednesday 4 July 2018

Mary Shelley by Haifaa Al-Mansour

Reviewed by Linda Marric 

Director Haifaa Al-Mansour made cinematic history in 2012 when her critically acclaimed film Wadjda became the first feature film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first to be directed by a female Saudi director. With the release of Mary Shelley, the director’s second feature and first English language film, Al-Mansour might seem like a million miles away from her humble beginnings, but on a closer look, it’s easy to see what motivated the director to dip her toes into such uncharted territories. Depicting the Frankenstein writer as a bright and angsty teenager with an unbridled lust for life and knowledge, Al-Mansour has managed to inject a real sense of adventure and youthful exuberance to a story which could have easily suffered the same fate as any other hackneyed costume drama biopic were it not for the commendable observational skills of its director.