Director: Faouzi Bensaïdi | 99 minutes | action, drama, comedy, romance | Actors: Faouzi Bensaïdi, Nezha Rahil, Fatima Attif, Hajar Masdouki, El Mehdi Elaaroubi, Mohamed Bastaou
What to make of “WWW: What a Wonderful World”? The film has fun finds, a multitude of atypical characters and storylines, tries to be both lighthearted and deeply romantic, and contains visually interesting choreographed scenes, yet this patchwork quilt rarely manages to form a coherent whole, with characters that come to life for the viewer. come. It feels like a big brainstorming session that has clearly good ideas, but is not yet satisfactorily streamlined. It is a pity that the viewer is no longer drawn into the world of these characters by Bensaïdi, because the creativity that he displays with his film should be encouraged in itself. But it is all just a bit too casual. The only figure we have any connection with is Kenza (the director’s wife), but we even learn little about her. She is a (traffic) cop and at first sight falls in love with hitman Kamel, with whom she experiences some memorable moments. The moment when they first talk to each other, over the phone of Kenza’s girlfriend (for whom Kemal is calling), is funny and playful and goes beyond the restrictions of the plot. We hear her say with a smile that she really has a gun with which she picks up villains like him, and we see a real person emerge in this flirtation. The strange romance between these two people is sometimes presented as something incredibly intense and grand. However, this feeling does not reach the viewer due to the little development of both characters, including the special feelings towards each other.
Now there are indeed charming and romantic scenes in the film, but usually these are self-contained vignettes that offer little added value in the film as a whole. For example, the visually surrealistic scenes with a traffic-controlling Kenza are interesting – filmed from above we see groups of cars or mopeds smoothly driving towards her, stopping, and turning around again or turning around the roundabout – but it looks too much like a gimmick. This also applies to the Amélie-like information about the city, its inhabitants, and the characters that we get at the beginning of the film. In this way we learn how many inhabitants Casablanca has, how many of them have committed murder, and that the character in question is one of them. Also, in the first half of the film, the notation as it appears in a script is continuously used, such as “Int / day”, which means that it is an indoor scene that takes place during the day. For an unclear reason, this approach is simply dropped after some time. These kinds of artifacts hinder more than they add.
But even though not everything is ideally connected, there is often enough to enjoy in individual scenes. It is nice, for example, when Kenza is taught by her girlfriend to dance sexy for a man, but fails. “Do you think being a woman is easy?” is thrown at her. The scene in which Kamel makes clear to Kenza that he loves her once and for all, with the help of a large, luminous billboard, will not leave the viewer indifferent. If Bensaïdi had zoomed in a little more on this central romance, he might have been able to provide an effective film in terms of both content and appearance. A film that now has an atmospheric atmosphere – often also because of the diverse, attractive music – and of which independent parts are reasonably attractive, but which as a whole really lacks direction and depth.