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Hassal Kheir

Hassal Kheir: Sexist, Racist & Unfunny

  • AmarAyten Amer...
  • ComedyDrama
  • Ismail Farouk
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Hassal Kheir: Sexist, Racist & Unfunny

First
things first, racism is not a joke. Calling someone black in a derogatory way
is not funny; it’s completely messed up. One of the film’s main characters calls his wife
‘black’ twice, hurling it at her like a slur, fishing for laughs. That would
have been bad enough except that the viewers in the cinema lapped it up and
these two instances elicited some of the film’s biggest laughs.

They, the filmmakers
and the viewers, are apparently unaware of the fact that we’re in Africa and that
brown skin comes with the territory. The kicker of course, is that the woman in
question isn’t even that dark which provokes the question, how dark is too
dark? This is the kind of sentiment you’d expect from one of those awful,
anti-feminist Fair & Lovely ads.

Moving
on. The film revolves around boobs; at least that’s what the filmmakers would
like you to think considering the trailer. In actuality, it’s about some poor
men who are unhappy with their wives because they aren’t Victoria’s Secrets
models, don’t lounge around in lingerie and aren’t up for sex whenever their men
beckon.

The
arrival of a pouty, Lebanese belly-dancer in their building turns their world
upside down. The men drool after her, their wives curse her existence while she
prances around with her immensely irritating kid sister. When things get really
bad between the couples, she tries her best to get them back together. Also;
boobs – there’s lots of them. The trailers weren’t lying.

Amar,
who plays the similarly named belly-dancer, is stunning. In fact, her good
looks almost make up for her grating screen presence. She talks in a sexy-baby
voice, which just sounds creepy coming out of a grown woman, and spends the
whole film batting her eyelashes. She puts the sex kitten stuff on hold to get
the men back together with their wives but goes right back to it again once she
needs something. Her character, along with every other one in the film, is a
one-note caricature and not a very fun one at that.

The men are all horny, boys while their wives are self-loathing shrews. The film’s humour
comes from the men either humiliating themselves in order to get Amar’s
attention or letting their wives know that in their lack of resemblance to
Amar, they may as well be men. It’s a terribly funny, not-at-all-clichéd type
of humour though, to be fair.

The
film is stuffed with songs, a couple of which are actually a little  fun. The
best are the ones sung by Saad El Soghair while the absolute worst is sung by
Janna, the ‘miracle’ child who plays Amar’s kid sister. Either way, try not to
listen to the lyrics, some of which are completely sexist, the rest of which
are plain dumb.    

Yes,
this type of film isn’t supposed to be taken seriously but films can be light
and stupid without being offensive. Besides, Hassal Kheir isn’t exactly teeming with redeeming qualities.

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Saad El Soghair’s next film, which aims for a Eid release, will also star famed bellydancers Fifi Abdo, Dina and Lucy.

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