Set against the backdrop of the Egyptian Revolution, the thriller features a police officer who investigates the murder of a woman. What initially seems to be a killing of a prostitute turns into a more complicated case involving the very elite of Egypt.
This movie does a very good job of showing a realistic view of modern day Egypt.
Corruption permeates everywhere. It is a way of life, especially among government employees under the regime of Hosni Mubarak.
Police Commander Noredin is corrupt and at a low point in his life: he works, collects bribes, browses facebook at an internet cafe, heads home and watches tv while drinking a beer and smoking a joint. He then goes to sleep for the cycle to repeat. Noredin's wife and child had been killed in an auto-crash and is it heavily alluded to that he got his job thanks to police General Kammal, his uncle. He helps his disabled father but has lost his respect, due to his corruption.
A murder then occurs at the Nile Hilton hotel. Noredin is unable to decide whether to commit to the case or just collect the appropriate bribes and close it. He eventually decides to pursue the case at all costs.
This film touches on many aspects of Egyptian society. From the Sudanese immigrants to the working class, middle class, artisans and elite - we get a perspective of what daily life in Cairo is like.
Being unfamiliar with Egypt, the dialogue was very amusing and fresh. Some of the idioms and digs had me laughing out loud.
I must also give a lot of credit to many of the actors that made this film particularly engaging. Fares Fares plays Noredin very well as we can sense his perspectives and viewpoints clearly. Oddly enough, he reminded me of Harrison Ford in Blade Runner: cold, detached but intrigued nonetheless. Another nod should go to Mari Malek, who plays Salma - the Sudanese murder witness. She really shows the helplessness and vulnerability of an immigrant in her situation.
I highly recommend this film, especially to anyone who like murder-mysteries, film noir or historical dramas as it has shades of all those genres in it.
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