Friday, October 21, 2016

A Stray
Releases October 21st, 2016 (Limited Release)
1 hr 22 mins
Not Rated


Director & Writer: Musa Sayeed

Barkhad Abdirahman as Adan
Fathia Absie as Adan's mother
Faysal Ahmed as Jay
Christina Baldwin as FBI agent Knudsen
Ifrah Mansour as Munira
George McCauley as 
Ben Phelps as Boyfriend
Andrew Stecker as Drive By College Student
Rhiana Yazzie as Rachel
Hassan Ali Mohamud as Imam/Sheikh

In Minneapolis’ large Somali refugee community, Adan (Barkhad Abdirahman) has nowhere to go. His mom kicked him out, and his friends are tired of his headstrong ways. As a last resort, he moves into the mosque, praying for a little help. Surprisingly, God seems to answer. Adan quickly lands a good job, devout friends, and a newfound faith. When Adan nearly hits a stray dog on the job, he’s forced to take it in for a night. But one of his new mosque friends considers the dog impure, and he throws Adan out. With Adan back on the streets, surrounded by his old crew, ex-girlfriends, prying FBI agents, and his estranged family, the dog may be his only friend as he tries to keep his faith and get through the night.

Review by Stephen M.

A Stray is an interesting look at a young Somalian in Minneapolis trying to find his way in life and stay out of trouble as he lives a life as a stray with a stray dog.  The Somalian Adan wonderfully played by Barkhad Abdirahman, provides a stark look at life for an immigrant youth that deals with clashes in religion and culture while finding his place in the world.  The parallels between himself and the "dirty" dog as a lesson is touching.  Some film goers may not like the slow plodding pace with loose ends in the sub plots caused by Adan's insouciant attitude.

Overall, the film is a good watch that while slow does keep your attention and interest with its great cast and interesting topic matter.  Adan which you may not relate to, is the type that everyone knows someone that is that type of person.  The kind of person you wish you can kick in the butt to be more proactive but also can't help but feel sorry for given their situation which is mostly of their own doing.  Not having too many Muslim friends, it was interesting to learn some things such as their thoughts on a canine, and how in most cases they are just like us, putting religion aside.  The soundtrack is hopping with an international flavor that is well suited for the movie.  Despite its flaws, make your way to the theater for its limited engagement this week for a matinee if you enjoy thought provoking social themed dramas.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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