Keed El Nessa: Feisty Ramadan Drama
Ahmed BedeirAhmed Khalil...
When you think about it for a second, the frenzy
caused by Ramadan TV shows is actually quite peculiar. Both the most active film
stars and most docile celebrity names crawl out of the woodwork to find a TV slot
sometime between fetar and sohour. In Keed
El Nessa, two heavyweights – of a particular kind – clash in a series that
was panned long before Ramadan started.
The sight of Fifi Abdou and Somaya El Khashab
singing at each other in a duet-come-stand-off in the show’s adverts had many
eyes rolling. The verbal sparring
between the characters did create a buzz, and although few would admit
it; the image of these two alpha females going at each other in any context had
some thinking ‘hmmm’ and others licking their lips. If anything, it would be one of those
train-wreck projects that you just had to see.
Judging from the first week of its airing, though; Keid El Nessa isn’t all that bad. Abdou
plays Kidahom, a powerful ‘me’alema’ – an honorary godfather-like figure – in a
poor Cairo neighborhood and an overbearing wife to Hanafi (Bedeir), who owns a
bakery, through which she yields her influence on the neighborhood, while also
using it as a front to secretly sell drugs.
Enter Safeya (Khashab); an
out-of-towner who comes to the neighborhood to make a living. She starts
working at another bakery owned by Kidahom’s main competitor and rival, ‘me’alim’
Adawi (Khalil), and begins to attract more customers to her bakery on account
of her superior quality of flour and not her come-hither eyes,
much to the annoyance of Kidahom. As the series progresses, we learn more about
Safeya’s troubled past and revenge plot against Kidahom for stealing her father
away years ago and leaving her and her mother to a life of poverty.
Keid El Nessa does in fact have two of
the most important elements in making a Ramadan TV series; fast-paced
storytelling and decent acting. Before you throw your hands up in the air in disbelief;
hear us out. Fifi Abdou and Somaya El Khashab aren’t the most able actors
around, to say the least. However, with these characters they’re in their
element. As we said, they aren’t the best, but they’re good at what they do.
Their portrayal of these matriarchs and strong women in a lower class setting
is as interesting and engaging as it is clichéd.
All in all, this is really a show for fans of the Abdou
and El Khashab, and this is only really an unoriginal yet comfortable series to watch. Don’t
expect anything innovative about the series, and there are a number of better
shows available for your viewing pleasure.