Saturday, September 09, 2006

Egyptian Movie Summer Roundup

I watched several Egyptian movies throughout the summer. Here is a quick roundup:

Aw2at Faragh
This good movie is to kids in their late teens what Sahar El Layaley was to young married couples. For the first time in recent Egyptian film, the characters (young college students) are portrayed in a very authentic way. In other movies, you feel that such characters were written by sixty year olds. Not in this film. A truly captivating portrayal of the lives of Egyptian kids in their late teens, with all its sense of emptiness, contradictions, and bummed out existence. Although there is nothing really new in the plot, I still recommend it.

3an El 3esh2 Wal Hawa
Sappy romantic movie written by Tamer Habeeb (write of Sahar el Layaley) and directed by Kamla Abu Zekry (director of A7la El Aw2at). Both very talented people. I liked this movie as well. It portrays a range of relationships and how people deal with them in relation to social pressures and restrictions. Several plot holes in there, but what I liked about it is that the writer doesn’t go through the predictable route of supporting the socially accepted relationship model. Menna Shalaby was fantastic in the film (in my view she is the top Egyptian actress of the current generation). A funny thing that happened: in one scene Ahmed El Sakka is crying because he broke up with his girl even though he still loved her. What does the audience do? They are laughing like it’s a scene from Madreset El Moshaghbeen. Apparently, it’s unbelievably funny that an Egyptian man cries. Can’t really be insulting the macho male ego can we? Reminded of the scenes where the audience also laughed at the gay character’s heartbreak in Yacoubian.

Wa7ed Men El Nas
An action movie with an unrealistic plot, but excellent directing. Menna Shalaby also shines.

Yaqoubian Building
Loved the movie. I had also enjoyed the book. For details refer to Forsooth’s review. Noteworthy performances by Khaled El Sawy and Hend Sabry.

As for the rest of the summer movies, I’m quite sure none of them is any good. Have you seen anything else you recommend?


Alluring said...

I watched awa'at faragh and yacoubian building, they are really good, i was in no mood to to watch the movie about break ups and failing realtionships.

I wanted to watch halim, like many; i love ahmed zaki and thought his last movie would be a hit, but didnt read or hear anywhere that it was good, did you watch or read anything about it GC?

GC said...

Everybody agreed that Halim was a complete disaster. From all that I heard, I wasn't even remotely interested to go and see it.

Alluring said...

I still wish i watched it :(

SYehia said...

Well I agree about the movies awa'at Faragh and 3an el 3eshe2 we alhawa.
What really pissed me off in The Yacoubian building is the people attitude towards the gay guy throughout the movie he was the mockery of the entire film and even though some of the scenes I just felt for him but being different specially in this area is identified as being a mockery to people I did not like that at all.

I love Mena Shalaby I really liked how she was complaining to El Saka about his own doings. Man I just love her.

love is... said...

I want to watch Aw2at faragh.
But is there any English subtitle on it?
If yes, where i can find it?
Please I want to watch it too...

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