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Critic Reviews for Hala
Viswanathan's resounding yet quiet performance allows the audience to see Hala for who she is - a smart, funny, intelligent, angsty, confused, and completely normal teenage girl.
Writer/director Minhal Baig's gentle and attentive sophomore feature Hala possesses something inherently extraordinary by just being about a young, female Muslim-American.
A coming-of-age tale, a compelling directorial debut, and a slight corrective regarding both teen movies and the American Muslim experience.
Although its storytelling is at times naggingly staid, its central characterizations teem with complexity and sensitivity, and for that, it's a modest coming-of-age gem.
As Hala tests the boundaries of faith and sexual desire (her name means "halo" in Arabic, and it feels like a burden), the movie is unsparing about gender roles and the awkwardness of first-time fumblings.
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