Most helpful positive review
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A must see piece of art - One of the most watchable Egyptian Movies.
on 9 February 2009
One of the most watchable Egyptian Movies. This excellent black drama is a must see despite its nearly three-hour running time, the movie is one of the most watchable and enjoyable pieces of art in Egyptian Cinema. I didn't read the story before seeing that controversial movie, so I had low expectations. But despite that, got hooked as early as the quality intro that takes you smoothly through an enjoyable ride to discover the background behind that nostalgic building in central Cairo through a Sepia short clip. The film is an artistic black drama which is full of cultural and political symbolism if you read carefully between the lines, my interpretation is that the building is a clear symbol of the country itself and how it transformed dramatically from the nostalgic early days of the 40s till the present day, shedding light on the price that the Egyptian society had to pay during that rough trip, and how the society has clear double standards that everyone is trying to ignore.
Every side story evolves in a different direction and involves controversial characters who are linked only by the same building (society) in some way or the other, the different stories are interweaved in an artistic way to dramatize different controversial issues and taboos from adultery, political corruption, homosexuality to Islamic fundamentalism.
The movie has a general sad feel around it especially for anyone who lived in Egypt as it touches on the deterioration and many negative issues that are becoming more and more the norm in most Egyptian society levels that was once a conservative and religious society.
It is strong wakeup call to those who love their country to stop burying their heads in the sand when it comes to double standards that's affecting everyone in the society making everyone feel inferior to the country. The story could make you think deeply about how and why a country like Egypt could end up where it is today.
The cinematography, steady cams, crane camera movement is brilliant, the smooth cuts and soft transitions boosts the romantic dimension of the storyline. As expected, the music score by Khaled Hammad is expressive, romantic and adds a lot of depth to many scenes. The tempo of the movie is just right, giving enough time for actors to express their feelings through longer than usual shots that will never leave you bored. Action scenes are also very well done.
A must see piece of art for anyone who is living or used to live in Egypt.