Bibo We Besheer: Quirky and Likeable Rom-Com
Asser YaseenMenna Shalabi
Mariam Abou Ouf
Besheer (Yaseen) works a Tanzanian translator for the Tanzanian coach of the Egyptian basketball team; a rather strange job to say the least. You’d think so, until you find out that Bibo (Shalaby) is a tabla player in a barely new musical group. It’s not just strange jobs that the two stars of the film have in common. What brings the two together is their search for an apartment in Downtown Cairo. Besheer, sick of living under his father’s iron fist at home, is in search for freedom, and Bibo must relocate from Port Said if she is to follow her musical dreams.
The heavens smile on the two, as they are able to combine their separate budgets to rent an apartment- but with a catch. Bibo has the apartment from 7AM to 8PM, and Besheer has it from 8PM to 7AM. Desperate as they are, they agree to the landlord’s stipulation without ever knowing one another, and an impossible chance meeting between the two causes complications to this hidden arrangement as they fall for each other.
Despite the ridiculous plot, it’s hard not to like this film. It’s a little strange how the tone of the scenes differ greatly; pure comedy, straight drama and actually quite downbeat pessimism. What carries all this through though is the combination of Yaseen and Shalaby, who make for one of the best on-screen chemistries you’re likely to see in this type of film. Yaseen really owns his role as Besheer, whereas Shalaby at times seems lost with her not-as-well-formed character Bibo.
For your own sanity though, you will need to overlook the nonsensical coincidences that the plot relies on to move forward, but the film gives you enough incentive to do so. Debuting director Miriam Abo Ouf weaves her story well, but lacks the eye-for-detail of a seasoned filmmaker. That will come in time, and at least she has imposed a style of her own. The way she has chosen to film and edit together the basketball matches, and her depiction of Port Said is impressive.
Bibo and Besheer will not come even close to blowing you away, and the best we can say is that this is a nice and pleasant film. Not the most affecting of testimonies, but it sure beats some of the Eid and Ramadan films we’ve seen so this year.