Apr 14, 2013

Belated response to a Muslim reView of Confessions of a Gambler

When you write a book or a script and make a film it generally gets reviewed. If the writer disagrees with the reviewer about the content he can respond to the review or let it die a quiet death, which is better. Some would say that one should not really take reviews seriously as it would appear that you cannot take criticism for your work. However, getting ready to move to New Jersey and unpacking boxes and a stack of old mail I found a review of the film which I must have missed at the time it first came out.

Insolence and sexuality

I was astounded by the review. It was scathing to say the least and the more I read, the more I marveled at the reviewer’s ability for accuracy and detail, as well as his preoccupation with Abeeda as a gambler, adulterer and confessor rather than as a character. No doubt, the publication of the book surprised a large majority of Muslim readers who thought the book was an outrage. Women on the other hand loved it and wanted more of the same. They loved the main character Abeeda who was insolent, immodest, had low impulse control, and was getting off far too easily. Should “sinners not at least hide their sins and be more severely chastised in society?” 

Confusing fact and fiction

A review of the reviewer showed his personal dislike and frustration for the kind of woman Abeeda was and that sometimes he forgot that she was a character and not real.  His job as a reviewer is to deconstruct the character and the plot and tell us why she was so impulsive and why she did what she did. She is brash because she is supposed to be.  It is a film, and make-belief. In real life, the writer/actress has moved on and is a reformed gambler.

Film Review - Muslim Views - May 2008 - Sadiq Keraan

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