The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Cima Ali Baba

Cima Ali Baba: Unconventional Egyptian Comedy

  • Ahmed MekkiAmy Samir Ghanem...
  • Comedy
  • Ahmed El Gendi
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Cima Ali Baba: Unconventional Egyptian Comedy

Cima Ali Baba is
made up of two separate films, the first being the Star Wars style ‘Go and Kill
Them All’, and the second being ‘The Cock in the Nest’. 

Mekki stars in the first film as Hazal’om, a human being who has been
abducted from planet Earth by three corrupt government officials on Planet
Rivo. He was specifically chosen due to his resemblance of their assassinated
president who died without appointing a deputy. As part of a plan to assume
control of the planet, the corrupt officials want to pass Hazal’om off as the
president until he fulfils their plan to appoint one of them as his deputy
after which they intend to dispose of him. Hazal’om is caught between the
officials who have him captive and the resistance who wish to establish a
democracy. 

Directly inspired by the revolution, ‘Go and Kill Them All’ combines a
run-of-the-mill story with Star Wars-esque visuals, though honestly, the thirty
year old original Star Wars looked better. Nonetheless, the jokes and the sheer
amount of body paint are barely enough to sustain it.  

The second film, ‘The Cock in the Nest’ revolves around the animal
inhabitants of a farm who are being terrorized by a gang of hyenas who
forcefully take an ever increasing percentage of the farm’s output every month.
The farm animals live in the hope that one day Habash the fighting cock will
return and save them from the hyenas’ tyranny. Mekki plays a thieving cock
named Baraber who along with his sidekick Sondo’ the rat, plans to rob the
farm. Before they have a chance to get their plan straight though, the farm
animals see them and mistake Baraber for Habash.

Baraber and Sondo’ go along with this mistaken identity that has
afforded them food and shelter and a respected status and plan to milk it for
as long as possible. Their sense of victory is short lived though due to the
arrival of the hyenas who thoroughly humiliate the new arrivals thus crushing
the farm animals’ hopes. Baraber who has come to love living as an honest and
respected cock, deigns to bring down the hyenas with the help of the farm
animals, however before they can execute the plan, the farm animals uncover his
true identity and cast him out.

The costumes and acting are really cool. Seeing the actors wearing
feathers and animal noses and mimicking their animal’s mannerisms was pretty
awesome. It was mainly this and not the jokes that provided the few
laughs.  

The moral of both films revolve around seizing the chance to do the
right thing and that a unified resistance can topple the strongest enemies.
While the first part was funnier, the second was more interesting though
neither film was particularly successful. Either way, it’s an unconventional
film for Egyptian cinema however, in this reviewer’s opinion; Cima Ali Baba might have been better as
a television show.       

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Cima Ali Baba refers to the fictional cinema in which the two films are being screened.

360 Tip

Teer Enta, La Tarago3 Wala Esteslam.

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