Nelly Karim has built a reputation for being one of the best actresses in the Arab world today, but unfortunately for her, that stature also came along with a reputation for being a bit of a drama queen. For a lot of years, her shows have been filled with drama, sorrow, and despair.
This year, however, Nelly decided to step out of the blues, and try something different for a change. This time it’s all about suspense in a thriller of a show that is filled with mystery and intrigue. We see two similar characters played by Nelly, both bonded with a secret, but inhabiting different historical epochs.
Her first character is that of a university professor, named Farida El-Menshawy, who decides to leave her work so she can be with her ex-husband (Hesham Selim) as he announces his new novel, Ekhtefaa’. In the novel, her ex-husband accuses a famous business man (Mohamed Mamdouh) of committing a murder that happened years ago.
And just like the name of the novel, and the show, the famous novelist disappears and the publication house is burnt down. Yet, Farida is able to find a copy of the novel, and here starts the second part of the show, the one where Nelly Karim plays the character from the novel, Nasima, a free-spirit that lived in the era before the 1952 revolution.
The series is very intricately written by Ayman Medhat. Indeed, Medhat was able to pull us into the story from the very first episode. This incredible writing was perfectly complemented by the director, Ahmed Medhat, who was masterfully able to depict the plot, and take us through the story in a way that intrigues us, but also keeps us in the loop.
Despite the make-up being horribly exaggerated on Mohamed Mamdouh, this still did not affect his immense acting skills that have further improved from last year’s La Totfe2 El-Shams. This is the second collaboration between Mohamed Mamdouh and Nelly Karim, after their movie Bashtery Ragel. Another remarkable performance is Hesham Selim’s, who despite not getting much screen time, was able to present a strong and unique character.
Music can power a show forwards, or it can set it back miles. We’re glad to say that in this show the musical scores were strong and capable of capturing emotions. Unfortunately for YouTube viewers, a lot of these songs will be cut due to a breach of copyright laws.
Ekhtefaa’ may not be the best series in Ramadan 2018, but it’s surely worth watching. You’ll get to witness a well-executed plot, and some truly remarkable acting.
Translated by: Sherif Khairy