Soil review: Laid back humor cannot save this morbid series  

Rating: 2.5/5

Soil is a Belgian drama about a young Muslim man who tries to make a business out of selling Moroccan soil to families to bury their dead ones. It is now available on Netflix.

Story 

Ismael Boulasmoum is a young man who wishes to make easy money without working really hard. His father, Omar, wants him to get into their repatriation business but Ismael has no interest in doing so. 

Soon, his father announces that he wants to retire and leaves 50% of the business under Ismael’s name; the remaining 50% is shared between his sister Nadia and her husband, Rachid. 

A series of events lead to Ismael stumbling upon crates of Moroccan soil, which he offers to a family to bury their father. With this, he gets an excellent idea of selling Moroccan soil to the people of Brussels who want to bury their beloved dead family members close to them. But also not lose contact with the native country.

What started as a small business idea, soon blows up. More and more people are seen opting for this service. Insurance Omar is nominated for Diwan Awards. But after a mishap with a body, Ismael decides to leave the business for good. 

Soon enough, Omar returns from his trip but not without a new guest, which causes more drama in the family and their business.  

Performances

Yassine Ouaich, who played the character of Ismael, is the perfect fit for the role. He is able to deliver the goofy and emotional dilemma of the character quite beautifully. 

Ahlaam Teghadouini, who plays the character of Nadia, is the only female main character in the entire series. Her character is quite appealing. She seems like the only person who can calm the situation and act as a connecting link between her husband, Ismael, and her father. No one could have done the job of showing this simple but strong opinionated woman other than Teghadouini. 

The character of Jean-Baptiste or JB is quite repetitive and got annoying after one point. He seems very one-dimensional, with the only job to steer the story in a specific direction to help the plot. Despite being an outstanding actor, Waed Kerremans cannot make this character bearable. 

Said Boumazoughe, who plays the character of Rachid, has also done a great job in showing an envious, ambitious man. It is very interesting to witness the switch in his character when he is sharing a romantic moment with his wife, Nadia. The two still lack chemistry, and the scenes feel forceful. 

Positives

The color palette of this series is very interesting. Instead of just being there in the background, it adds to the story. The dresses are also quite beautifully designed, especially Ismael’s. The audience can actually guess the character’s mood through what attire he is wearing in that particular scene.  

The story also tries commenting on how more often than never, people end up as a victim of the rituals and religion they follow. This is accompanied by family drama and humor to ease the situation. 

Negatives 

The series feels quite morbid despite the humor and carries a weird vibe. The constant and casual mentions of death and mishandling of dead bodies can make viewers wince. A particular scene where the dead body of an old man is just thrown around is particularly unbearable to watch. It also sums up the immaturity Ismael and JB carried. 

Despite JB’s constant presence throughout the series, his character is never appropriately explored. What starts off as a funny, wacky character soon becomes quite annoying and immature. His only role seems to offer comedic relief and stir the plot in a specific direction without explanation. 

Throughout the series, the audience witnesses Rachid’s envious nature. He is evidently jealous of his brother-in-law for quite some time and has different plans for their business. But at the very end of the series, he starts working with Ismael. This os quite sudden and gives the viewers whiplash. 

Verdict

Despite being tacky and morbid at times, Soil isn’t a bad watch. It just carries an unpleasant aftertaste and has a morbid vibe around it. It is entertaining at some points but also quite easily forgettable. 


Also Read: Soil (2022) summary and ending explained

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