CAIRO – 12 July 2019: Casablanca movie claimed the first rank in Eid el-Fitr movies marathon, achieving the highest one day revenues in the history of Egyptian cinema.
The film stars Amir Karara, Ghada Adel, Eyad Nassar, Amr Adel Jalil, Mahmoud al-Bezzawy, Ahmad Dash, Jihane Khalil, Mohamed Moftah, International Turkish actor Halit Ergenç, among others.
Casablanca is written by Hesham Helal, directed by Peter Mimi and produced by Synergy.
The action movie revolves around Omar El-Mor (Amir Karara) and an adventure in Casablanca. The plot tackles the life of three Alexandrian men who despite being pirates, have a touch of humanity.
The three performed nautical theft, where El-Mor was arrested but refused to inform the police about his partners, who are Oraby ( Amr Abdel Gelil) and Rasheed ( Eyad Nassar).
On the aftermath of his release he discovered that Orabi betrayed them and travelled to Morocco to start a new life there and changed his name to Haroun and kidnapped El-Mor’s brother Zakaria ( Ahmed Dash), so El-Mor and Rasheed decided to cooperate together to grab their right from Oraby and return Zakaria back.
Casablanca is a different type of action movie because it is shot across different cities such as Marrakech, Casablanca, Safaga and Alexandria, so it contains different pictures on screen that were executed with the latest cinematic techniques.
‘’ El Araka law Ebtadet Hatez’al’’ ( If the fight started you are the one who will going to be annoyed) this is the sentence that El-Mor always says before any fight showing off his strong physical strength.
There is nothing distinguished in this sentence to go that viral but the charisma of Karara and his wide popularity turns this sentence to be the slogan of the both the movie and the trailer.
The film huge success was guaranteed and expected for many reasons we will go through later in this article, but the main reason that was mentioned by the movie star Amir Karara in his previous interview with Egypt Today is simply god’s will and that huge appeal he planted in the hearts of audience towards Karara, the director Peter Mimi and the rest of the cast , the appeal that god gives to certain people for a reason he only knows it.
The prove on that is the movie promo that amassed 1 million views within three hours of its release, a record in the history of Egyptian cinema, does a promo that last for one minute and 55 seconds -less than two minutes- is an indicator to the quality of the movie?
This is the main reason why the competition was won by Casablanca before the start of Eid el-Fitr movies marathon.
Casablanca is the director’s peter Mimi eighth feature. Mimi is a director that knows quite well what people want, that’s why his movies achieve high commercial success despite in some cases their mediocre artistic quality, he masters creating the synthesis that is attractive to the audience but not much appealing to the film critics.
In Casablanca Mimi presented his normal synthesis to meet people taste but he paid more attention to the formation of the characters and came up with more catchy and original ideas as in his previous movies he used to some extent to inspire ideas and themes from other foreign movies or at least get influenced with them.
Casablanca’s characters have well drawn traits, history and targets which built a strong link and bridge between these characters and the audience, without any huge focus on the movie main character played by Karara. The balance between the movie characters contributed much to Casablanca success.
The credit goes here to the smart karara who didn’t use his stardom as a pressure card on the director to pay more attention to his role as he was brainy enough to realise that the film success is much more important than appearing on the screen for extra more minutes, because at the end the success of the movie will be mainly attributed to him and its failure too.
The movie plot written by Hesham Helal is a good one, it contained fresh comedy and action lines that were well executed on the screen by Mimi.
Casablanca is an action movie in the first place, the main themes of its plot is friendship, betrayal, brothers’ love, greed and a small touch of romance.
These themes causes upside downs, surprises and major shifts in the characters’ stances throughout the movie. These shifts takes us inside the movie from chapter to the other, from confrontation to the other and definitely from fight to the other.
The comedy line in the movie is emphasised in separated sentences, not heavy comedy dosage in order not to distract the audience from the action dosage presented in the movie.
The comedy line presented by Abdel Gelil was suitable to be included in an action movie like Casablanca.
Regarding what we describe as the action-comedy line this wasn’t presented in Casablanca, all the movie action scenes were purely serious ones and this was a good decision from the movie makers because for the action scenes to be more credible it should be based on serious confrontations.
The formation of the action scenes consists of chapters that hold nothing new, but was well executed to lead to the other ideas of the movie.
There is no exceptional physical efforts exerted from the actors the matter that added the quality of the action scenes mainly on the shoulders of the director, director of photography and the editor.
The quality of the action scenes in Casablanca was very high, the only defect was fastening and slowing the picture according to the camera movement, this add more elegance to the picture but at the same time distracted the audience from the action mood a little bit.
But this defect was fixed by the brilliant employment of the songs in the background of the scenes. Casablanca’s director of photography was one of the main success keys of the movie, he succeeded in highlighting the nature of the different cities where the movie was shot whether in Alexandria and Morocco.
The action scenes of Casablanca contained brilliant fresh ideas. On the drama side the movie was doing well until the few scenes that preceded its end which were a little bit weak.
Because they were full of extra intrigues, upside downs in addition to a number of good and bad decisions that interlocked together and dispersed the attention of the audience, causing momentum of events.
Casablanca brilliantly emphasised its themes that we mentioned above especially brothers’ love despite nothing new in it. The romantic line was like an intruded theme to the extent that if it was omitted from the movie nothing would have changed.
The triangle of friendship, betrayal and greed presented by El-Mor, Rasheed and Oraby was very attractive especially with the great performance of the trio Karara, Nassar and Abdel Gelil.
Unlike my previous expectations I got from the trailer Nassar especially exceeded my expectations and stabilized more his place as a veteran actor who can convince you with any role he plays, his performance was both smooth and energetic in all his scenes, whether action, tragic and even comedy.
Regarding karara’s performance it was great, meeting my expectations in karara, nothing surprising, but with even more radiance than his performance in his previous movie Harb Karmooz ( Karmooz War), one of the main reasons is that Omar el Mor character is not an ideal one, it is a contradicted character full of good and bad things at the same time the matter that provoked Karara’s acting capabilities.
I will use only very few words to describe Abdel Gelil performance, a one of a kind brilliant actor, as simple as that.
The participation of the famous Turkish actor Halit Ergenic was a fruitful one presenting the role of a villain guy who despite having a group of principals, he is not a good guy at the end. He is a diligent actor who exerted much effort in performing his character despite it is not a big role.
I previously mentioned that brothers’ love was the theme that was presented the best comparing to the other themes, the success of this theme was because of the performance of both Karara and his brother in the movie the young uprising actor Ahmed Dash.
Dash without any kind of exaggeration performed zakaria’s role in a brilliant way. He shared a scene with karara were he gave us a purely credible emotions that really touched us all, a scene where he wasn’t acting, just conveying to us the exact meaning of brothers love.
And as I mentioned before that the romantic theme is the weakest among all the themes, Ghada Adel role was the weakest as well without any blame to Adel, she performed her role according to the script so we can’t blame her because the theme itself was irrelevant.
The end of Casablanca was an open one to pave the way for part 2 from the movie which I expect will achieve more success because of the excitement included in the sequence of the events.