Saudi director and writer Abdullah Al-Khamees welcomed Saudi Film Festival visitors with screenings of his comedy short film “The Old School.”
The 14-minute film had those watching bursting with laughter.
The story is about a Saudi man named Battal facing a major dilemma. After months of not being at work, he returns to find himself in a modern work environment to which he has a difficult time adjusting.
He returns to see an office he barely recognizes and co-workers he has never seen before. English is the primary language of the workplace, which sends him into shock.
Battal tries to adjust by teaching himself English and speaking to his co-workers, but finds himself even more confused than before.
The final straw is when Battal’s boss asks him to present a PowerPoint presentation to his team in English, which results in a hilarious and unexpected ending.
The casting of Saudi content creator and actor Abosllo as Battal makes the movie work. Abosllo embodies the character of Battal in an authentic way and manages to bring him to life.
“The Old School,” as the name suggests, highlights that acceptance to change may not come naturally to some individuals.
Many Saudis who grew up practicing traditional customs have lived the same reality as Battal. This makes the film accurate, while its comedy scenes elevate it to a masterpiece.
Both direction and script are witty and clever, as if the idea and jokes came from a naturally funny individual who has experienced a quite normal life in the Kingdom.
In terms of aesthetics, the cinematography is professional and well crafted. The combination of camera angles, lighting, and deep hues of each shot is visually stunning, allowing watchers to feel immersed in the movie world.