AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number4. October 2021                                Pp. 92-108

Evaluation of Wadjda: A Comparative Discourse Analysis of Western and Saudi Movie Reviews

English Language Skills Department, Common First Year
King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



Since people are showing more interest recently in movies and as movie reviews of the same movie could vary in the degree of their objectivity, this paper seeks to answer why movie reviews may differ in their evaluation of the same work. To this end, a critical discourse analysis using Fairclough’s three-dimensional framework and Martin and White’s attitude framework is carried out to analyze two reviews of the Saudi movie Wadjda, one written in English by a western critic, and the other is Arabic written by a Saudi critic. The textual analysis of attitudinal expressions shows that the English text maintains an even distribution between the negative and positive expressions, and most of the negative expressions do not assess the aspects of the movie but rather the Saudi society. In the Arabic text, however, the negative expressions outnumber the positive ones, and they are mostly related to the movie and the director. Using Fairclough’s framework, the author explains the findings of the textual analysis of the English review and the critic’s avoidance of negative evaluation as a result of Eurocentrism and the way the western media represent Arabs and Muslims. However, the negative appraisal of several movie aspects found in the Arabic review could be seen as a result of the critic being part of the society and, thus, not distracted by the social issues.

Cite as:

Almohaimeed, M. S. (2021). Evaluation of Wadjda: A Comparative Discourse Analysis of Western and Saudi Movie Reviews. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (4) 92-108.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no4.8


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Maram S. Almohaimeed is working at King Saud University (KSU).  She holds M.A. degree in Applied Linguistics from the College of Languages and Translation at KSU. Her research interests revolve around discourse analysis and foreign language teaching and learning. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0275-3239