El Heroob: Ramadan Revolution Drama
Abdel Aziz MakhyoonDalal Abdel Aziz...
El Heroob (the escape) takes place just prior to the revolution, after the Khaled Said
incident, and uses the political climate during that time to portray the story
of a man who runs afoul of the state security.
Mahmoud (Abdel Aziz) is an engineer forced to work as a mechanic instead
of a teaching assistant, due to his father’s ties to the unions and his younger brother’s participation in activist groups. While out
illegally fishing with his friend, the boat they’re in blows up and they’re arrested under a trumped up charge of attempted
assassination of the president who, to their bad luck, was visiting a factory in
the area. The show portrays his time in prison, how he was coerced into
complying with state security’s version of events, how activists on the outside
mobilised to free him and how the injustice was so extreme that he barely had
it in him to object, even after he was let out. You could say that the show is a reminder as to why the revolution was necessary
and as to what led to the outburst.
The show‘s dialogue is a simple kind of great. It’s not flashy, nor does it call attention to itself but
it tells you all you need to know in a manner highly befitting of each
character. The show’s also quite heavy on the dialogue but it doesn’t feel dense or overly talky, thanks both to the
writer and the cast.
Acting wise, Dalal Abdel Aziz walks away with the accolades; she steals every scene she’s in. She plays Mahmoud’s overly nervous, incredibly loving mother. Her character is an
embodiment of love; a mama bear type that Abdel Aziz plays beautifully. Her
character could have easily devolved into the show’s jester, but Abdel Aziz gives her so much dignity, that you’re laughing with not at her.
The rest of the cast is uniformly strong with Karim Abdel Aziz being the
rare movie star this Ramadan not to rely much on his usual mannerisms.
Of course to an extent they are there, but they’re not distracting and they don’t prevent us from buying him as his character.
El Heroob is the kind of drama that goes down easily. It’s very believable and it’s possibly the only show or film to tackle the
revolution from this aspect. It shows how poverty imposes a different set of
priorities on people no matter how much revolutionaries wish it weren’t, so while also showing the increased danger that the lower rim of society faces from state security when they do decide to take a stand. It’s a ‘damned
if you do, damned if you don’t’ scenario. Most impressive of all though,
considering the subject matter, is that the show manages to stay pretty light
and not overly serious.