WEB DESK: Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the biopic He Named Me Malala, is a documentary featuring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
The teenage girl and her father were singled out for advocating girls’ education in Swat, and the attack on her ignited an international commotion. She miraculously survived the attack and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education worldwide as co-founder of the Malala Fund.
The biopic depicts how Malala, her father Zia, and her family are devotedly fighting for female education globally.The documentary highlights all facets of this out-of-the -ordinary young girl’s life.From her close bonding with her father who inspired her love for education to her vehement speeches at the United Nations, the film depicts all aspects of Malala’s life.
Here we present to you portions of reviews from some of the leading film critics to help you decide if the documentary is worth a watch or not.
From The Guardian:
The title of Davis Guggenheim’s uplifting account of Malala Yousafzai’s heroic battle for female education and empowerment offers a strange twist on that of her inspirational memoir, I Am Malala. Blending sumptuous animation with harrowing news footage and enchanting domestic interviews, Guggenheim builds a portrait of a nurturing family who are at once reassuringly ordinary yet utterly extraordinary.This documentary serves as a stirring tribute to an indomitable young woman whose story doesn’t really need a lush Thomas Newman score to pluck at your heartstrings and inspire your devotion.
From Huffington Post:
Davis Guggenheim’s documentary filmed over 18 months looks beyond Malala the activist to her life in Birmingham and we see a self-assured, warm, intelligent and compassionate teenager, at ease with her family and proud of her Pashtun culture with her father Ziauddin as prominent a figure as his famous daughter but what nags is the sparse reference to the Taliban, fundamentalism and the family’s relationship to their fellow villagers in the Swat Valley.
From The New York Times:
The film is primarily interested in spreading her message and seems pitched to a young audience. Nothing wrong with that. But it only occasionally delivers the kind of unguarded moment that makes you feel as if you’re getting beneath the media image, and it is not at all interested in discussing broader issues raised by Malala’s fame. The film doesn’t particularly examine the price of Western superstardom. And just how her fame is affecting things back home in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, if at all, remains unexplored, as does the uneasy question of how much heritage you have to give up to become a Western media darling.
From The Washington Post:
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim has made an affectionate and moving portrait of Malala that also paints her as remarkably brave, poised, funny, articulate, smart, self-aware, resilient and curious. It is when Malala talks about changing the world that you actually might start to believe that this kid, who is still only 18, could someday make a difference. If there’s a quibble with the film, it’s that it glosses over what it’s like to grow up in the glare of worldwide celebrity. Guggenheim is clearly in awe of her. By the end of He Named Me Malala, you may be, too.
Emma Watson who recently interviewed Malala at the premiere of her biopic tweeted:
Beautifully shot.. Intimate.. All those good things. If you've seen it already tell me your favourite parts! X #HeNamedMeMalala
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) November 6, 2015
Now you can decide for yourself whether you should give the biopic a go or not?