Saturday, March 24, 2007

Review: The Yabobian Building (Omaret yakobean)

I know you're in there!

One can never expect such a varied array of an overwrought ensemble drama that opens a fascinating window of life in contemporary Egypt. Immediately after a vivid prologue tracing the building's transformation from 1930s-era luxury residence to its current status as home to rich and poor alike, The Yacoubian Building introduces us to its cast of characters, who represent a cross-section of Egyptian society. From playboy Zaki El Dessouki, the doorman's son who dreams of being a cop, Taha El Shazly, and Fanous and Malaak, who live on the roof in a makeshift hut, their life stories woven together to make an explosive outcome simmering under 172 mins. Thats quite a feat to uphold without the wondrous imagination much like LOTR. But the brewing of every imaginable dispute found clustering throughout this depressing satire, from adultery to homosexuality, certainly makes up for it. It may make out to be a mess from a far, but the flow somehow rooted back to the building itself, making it a life of its own. Well rounded acting to all the actors present, the ever presence of a political message seem to be leaking if dug deep enough. With that said with all the misery surrounding, at least it ended with a rose among the thorns in the bushes.

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