Sarkhat Namla: Definitely Not the Official Film of the Revolution
Farida El GeridyHisham El Meligy...
Sameh Abd ElAziz
In 1 Cinema
Sarkhat Namla revolves around the economic
differences in Egypt seen through the eyes of Gouda (Abdel Gelil), an Egyptian
contractor who was wrongly imprisoned in Iraq. The film tries to address the
issues that Egyptians have been faced with in increasing economic difficulties
such as the increase in food commodity prices, the rate of corruption and their effects on the
returning from Iraq, Gouda is disillusioned at the depressing state of the
country. With very little to his name, Gouda finds himself in conflict; his
sense of patriotism compels him to get involved in the revolution, but at the
same time, his efforts to live a comfortable life lead him to become involved
in the same type of underhandedness that the revolution is rising up against. Naturally, this inner struggle drives Gouda to extreme measures and consequences.
meant to be a comedy, the story suffers from many elements that simply felt
forced. Since it’s mainly seen through the eyes of Gouda, you’ll get the feeling
that his jokes are misplaced. Egyptian films in the last twenty years or so
have invariably pulled off adding humour to real-life situations but sadly, it doesn’t
work here. It wasn’t only the script that was the downfall of the film; but
the setting as well.
Sarkhat Namla’s advertising campaign positioned it as
the official film of the revolution. This is inaccurate, as it tries to focus on the events
that helped in inspiring
the revolution. In fact, the shooting was almost completed before
January 25th, and when the revolution kicked off, additional scenes
were filmed to make it more relevant. This further adds to the mess of the
script, as the story seems disjointed. Another contributing factor is surely
the fact that it had to be quickly edited after being picked to screen at this
year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Gelil turns in an adequate performance that doesn’t stray too far from his usual
style. On the other hand, Youssef fails to shine and isn’t adequately used,
appearing intermittently as Gouda’s belly-dancer wife. The rest of the cast are distinctly
average; nothing more, nothing less.
actually astounding how the film fails to deliver on any of its promises. It’s
neither really about the revolution, nor is it funny; the jokes and scenarios
are worn out, the parts that specifically talk about the revolution only do
so in a very shallow way, and images and footage of the protests are used awkwardly. Ultimately, Sarkhat Namla is a poorly executed film that fails to portray an
important and topical subject adequately.