Ali’s Wedding

Ali’s Wedding is a tale about true events, portrayed as a romantic comedy about an Muslim-Iraqi boy living in Australia. It starts off with Ali riding a tractor through a vineyard while being chased by the police, which is the basis of the story, why was Ali on the tractor. This movie reveals the situation of immigrants who went through war and poverty before they settled in Australia, where the children were either required to study well and become doctors, or, if not, they become taxi drivers. Needless to say, you may have to watch the movie a second time to grasp that it is a true story and not a make-believe comedy.

There are many elements in this story that are important and still happening today. The first element is the society. Ali was clearly loved by his community as was his father who was the cleric at the mosque. However, pressured by society, Ali lied about scoring high on his entrance exam for Medical University and even agreed to an arranged marriage, informally. The lie caused him to attend Medical University, unenrolled, for an entire year and the latter situation almost cost him his true love. Throughout the entire movie, Ali was not sure about anything, except the fact that he was in-love with an Egyptian-Lebanese-Australian girl named Dianne.

In Muslim culture, it was frowned upon to have females mingle with boys and most girls were denied a proper education because of this. Dianne was brilliant in her studies, scoring the highest percentile in their community on the Medical University entrance exam. Ali, who was admired by all and expected to do well, scored the lowest in the community. Ali influenced the father of Dianne to send her to University, promising that he would keep an eye on her. They became close and did not want their relationship to be wrong in the eyes of God so they performed a temporary marriage for a stipulated time, unbeknownst to their family. This is a common occurrence in the Muslim world even today.

Dianne however, did not know that Ali would be engaged to another and Ali, not wanting to hurt his parents, he did not come out and tell them no. He mentioned Dianne indirectly to his mother but when she refused to see things Ali’s way, he dropped the topic and continued with the two relationships. Ali’s father composed a comedy-play centered around Saddam Hussein, the former President of Iraq who caused them to flee the country. The group got invited to the United States (US) to perform but as soon as they landed, they were interrogated and deported back to Australia. Feeling downtrodden because his plan to live in the US and send for Dianne, had failed, was increased when he arrived home to find that his lie had been revealed.

In addition to Ali having to apologize to the community, his secret affair with Dianne was exposed. I would not give away the rest of the movie but it is a refreshing movie, not based upon the violence and war that is happening in the Muslim world today.