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Bolbol Hayran

Bolbol Hayran : A Lovebird on the Fence

  • Ahmed HelmiAmy Samir Ghanem...
  • Comedy
  • Khaled Mar'ay
reviewed by
Haisam Abu-Samra
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Bolbol Hayran : A Lovebird on the Fence

Bolbol (Helmy) wakes up in a full-body cast after a mysterious accident
shattered every last bone in his body. He’s lying in a hospital bed, where
he’ll probably spend the next few weeks, and with him is Dr. Amal (Ghanem), a
dedicated physician taking care of his needs 24/7. Bolbol warms up to the perky
doctor and shares with her his story with her in painstaking detail.

As the owner of a small ad agency, he first meets Yasmin (Zeina), a
harmonica playing member of a rock band. At first Bolbol is smitten by her carefree
attitude and lack of jealousy until the novelty wears off. Just as his
fondness turns into frustration towards Yasmin, in walks Hala (Adel), a
helpless girl who is in many ways the polar opposite of Yasmin.

Bolbol spends more and more time with Hala, ultimately falling for her,
but at the same time he can’t shake off his love for Yasmin. Both women seem to
have something that Bolbol desires, and our poor hero is torn between the two.
And therein lies his predicament: should Bolbol go for the independent, self-empowered
though occasionally cold Yasmin? Or is the submissive and helpless Hala a
better fit for his traditionalist values, even though she can be very

Bolbol Hayran (A Bewildered
Lovebird) suffers a suffocating detachment from reality. The eye-popping colours
and polished sets reflect a world far from the one that we inhabit. The film
aims for light-hearted romantic-comedy, but floats way above where the air is
too thin and lacks the necessary oxygen. There is not a single
moment where Bolbol shows any sign of genuine torment, where any of his love
interests represent more than just props. His dilemma starts out as insignificant
and develops into an insufferable one: it’s a placeholder for humorous
miscommunications and frail idiosyncrasies.

Helmy solely relies on his charisma and sense of humour to
navigate through the film, making the best that he can out of the stale lines
and the contrived straits that he’s handed. And so does Zeina, who gives a
charming and whimsy performance. On the other hand, Sherine Adel gives a dreadfully overblown act in her first
turn as a leading lady.

Bolbol Hayran aims low and accomplishes
nothing. It’s not in the least bit funny or interesting. The rushed production
and poor script fail on the most fundamental of levels. Helmy’s comedic timing and
capacity to make people laugh is a good virtue, but it’s nothing without the
craft to back it up.  

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360 Tip

Originally titled Sa'a El Boromba (He Man), Helmy and the filmmakers decided to change the name to Bolbol Hayran; stating that it’s a better fit for the lead character.

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