Samy Oxyde Al Carbone: Tired, Silly Slapstick Comedy
(Ramzi) is a jobless playboy, who spends his time wasting money and
chasing women. Then he meets and falls for Gihan (Dorra), a hardcore social
activist who regularly organises protests and despises egocentric, wealthy people like him. In order to impress her, Samy does what any man in his position would do, and pretends to be a
low-maintenance, working class version of himself. While trying to woo Gihan
and fit into her activist circle, Samy discovers that the land he owns is being
contaminated by pollution from a nearby factory owned by Gaber (Fawzy). Karma can get you like that.
become even more complicated when Samy’s ex-wife Haidy (Tetiana) reappears
after many years only to tell him that he has a daughter called Sandy (Nasrat). Haidy is terminally ill and can’t take care of Sandy, and so Samy suddenly
has the responsibility of fathering a child he’s never known of. This is,
understandably, Samy’s opportunity to redeem himself
and become a changed man. Queue the violins or the Rocky theme tune; both are fitting.
film’s main plot is actually split into two parts; the first is about him
changing into something he’s not, and the second revolves around his dealing
with the responsibility of parenthood. Predictably, both stories suffer from
various annoying elements. To begin with, Ramzi’s depiction of a successful
womaniser is very hard to believe – the actor has pulled off the awkward, dorky
roles for years, but he lacks the suave charm to convince us of his flirting
Additionally, his father-daughter scenes with Nasrat are forced and
seem to shove the jokes down the audience’s throats. An example of this is a when Samy and his best friend Medhat (Edward) dress up in various costumes, including Avatar characters, in an attempt to entertain his newly acquired daughter. Nasrat does her best
adorable act as the charismatic young daughter, but it borders on slapstick and
– again – forced.
Akram Farid seems to have borrowed themes from US films like Game Plan and Big Daddy, but this film lacks the charm and humour to pull it off. Essentially, this film is all about
Ramzi, which is unfortunate considering that his flat portrayal of an immature man lacks the type of charisma needed with an anti-hero character like this, and
fails to command the audience’s attention. His cheesy lines don’t help either.
Even hardcore Ramzi fans will be disappointed, and the supporting cast fails to
impress: as Samy’s best friend Medhat, Edward plays the same funny sidekick that we’ve
seen him play before, while Dorra’s efforts are lacklustre as she gives
a lukewarm performance with little charm.
Egyptian standards, this comedy is weak and almost offensively silly in its use
of cheap humour. This type of slapstick comedy may have worked back in the 90s, which in hindsight is still a little embarrassing if it did,
but you’d think that Egyptian cinema has evolved and improved in the past