Movie Reviews

Beyond The Veil Review: A Blend Of Tradition And Modernity

As these women navigate life together and individually, they each harbour secrets they don't share with one another.

beyond the veil review
Beyond the Veil cover [PHOTO CREDIT: Document Women]

Beyond The Veil is a series of films directed by Nadine Ibrahim and Sifa Asani Gowon, available for streaming on Amazon Prime. This film provides a rollercoaster of emotions and introduces a unique type of friendship rarely depicted in mainstream media: the bond between five northern Muslim women. It explores the lives of three Muslim friends and a half-sister as they navigate marriage, careers, relationships, and their sense of purpose.

Plot

Hanifa (Maryam Booth) is a wife and mother of two young girls and an artist who owns an art school. Desiring to further her career, she applied to study Architecture. While this is a positive step for Hanifa, her husband Ahmadu opposes it, insisting that her primary responsibility as a woman is to care for him, the children, and the home.

Despite her reluctance, Hanifa attempts various ways to persuade Ahmadu, leading to unforeseen events. As Hanifa’s fears of Ahmadu cheating grow, she comes to a deeper understanding of the truth about their marriage.

Na’ima(Jemima Osunde), a friend of Hanifa and daughter of an Honorable, suffers from anxiety and insomnia, conditions she conceals from everyone except her doctor. Despite these challenges, she owns and manages a spa, Hamman, in Abuja. While juggling her career and health issues, she develops a romantic interest in Amir, Hanifa’s brother. Overwhelmed by work and in need of rest, Na’ima travels to Lagos, where she establishes another Hamman and reconnects with an old lover, Matthew. This reconnection makes her realise her deep desire for true love and that her true feelings do not align with being with Amir.

Badriya (Norah Ego), popularly known as Baddie, is a social media influencer renowned for her love of grand gestures and luxury. She equates these gestures with love, leading her to meet Sadiq, an initially anonymous lover who becomes her boyfriend. Shortly after, Baddie discovers through his wife, Bilkis, that Sadiq is married with children. Undeterred by this revelation, Baddie decides to marry Sadiq.

Zizi (Ame Aiyejina), an ADP to Na’ima’s mother and half-sister to Baddie, finds her true sense of family and friendship with Bappa (Nobert Young), a retired soldier and grandfather, despite having both parents. Devoted to her work and lacking a social life, Zizi becomes entangled in a romantic relationship with Kassim(Caleb Richards), Na’ima’s brother. Kassim’s mother, displeased with his interest in Zizi, attempts to arrange a match for him with a friend’s daughter, as she deems this a more suitable connection for an Honorable’s son.

Surrayah (Habiba Tanko), is an expert in using spices and herbs to create products for skin care, general health, well-being, and even aphrodisiacs. She works for Na’ima and is a relative of Baddie. However, Surrayah’s character raises questions, as her true nature remains ambiguous throughout the movie. Besides frequently intruding into Na’ima’s life and desiring more than just being a worker, she develops a peculiar romantic interest in Kassim. Viewers, however, found her character somewhat unnecessary and misaligned with the narrative.

As these women navigate life together and individually, they each harbour secrets they don’t share with one another. However, some of these secrets are unveiled during Baddie’s Kamo (decoration ceremony), causing a rift among them just before the wedding.

Unfortunately, Baddie’s wedding day is fraught with more surprises and tension, marked by betrayal, loss, an accident, and fears for the future for each of the women.

Cast

Jemima Osunde, Maryam Booth, Norah Ego, Ummi Baba Ahmed, Ame Aiyejina, Norbert Young, Habiba Zock-Sock, Yakubu Mohammed, Rikadawa Rabiu and Caleb Richard.

Language

The movie was brought to life with the authentic use of both English and Hausa languages, adding richness and authenticity to the narrative.

Summary

‘Beyond the Veil’ skillfully mixes traditional storytelling with Western influences, creating a rich depiction of life in the northern region. Despite its adherence to cultural norms, the movie infuses contemporary dialogue, settings, and plots.

The dynamic portrayal of female friendship navigating life’s complexities evokes a range of emotions, from laughter to tears, resonating deeply with viewers.

In addition to its thematic depth, ‘Beyond the Veil’ captivates with its visually stunning scenes, meticulously crafted to immerse the audience in every moment.

The film succeeds in interweaving diverse characters into a cohesive narrative, though some viewers may find the multitude of events overwhelming, others find it entertaining.

beyond the veil review
6.8
Review Overview
Summary

Ending with just the right amount of suspense, ‘Beyond the Veil’ leaves audiences eagerly anticipating its next season, keeping them on the edge of their seats.

  • Costumes8
  • Casting7
  • Plot6
  • Setting7
  • Story6
Watch 'Beyond the Veil' on Prime Video

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