After a series of modest films.. Will the heroes of Masr Theater continue in the cinema?

During the last Eid al-Fitr season, Egyptian theaters showed two films, “After Evil”, starring Ali Rabei and Muhammad Osama (Aws Usama), one of the stars of the Misr Theater. The movie “Ramses Paris” was also screened, starring Haifa Wehbe and Mohamed Salam, and they are joined by the stars of the Misr Theater, Hamdi. Al-Marghani and Mustafa Khater.

The first film was able to occupy third place in the revenues of this season in Egyptian theaters, but it achieved a surprise and topped the revenues of Egyptian films in the Saudi market, while the second achieved meager revenues, which raises a question about betting on the heroes of the Egyptian Theater.

Misr Theater.. 7 years

In January 2014, the artist Ashraf Abdel-Baqi presented for the first time the performances of what was called “Teatro Egypt” in its first and second season, and it was broadcast by the Egyptian Al-Hayat channel, before the name changed to “Misr Theater” and it was presented by “MBC Egypt”. It was written by Nader Salah El-Din, leaving plenty of space for the heroes to improvise in front of the audience.

During the theatrical performances that lasted until 2019, a number of young actors shone, such as: Ali Rabie, Mustafa Khater, Hamdi Al-Marghani, Aws Aws, Muhammad Abdel-Rahman and Muhammad Anwar, who became heroes overnight as a result of the popularity achieved by theatrical performances broadcast at peak viewing times on tv. Despite some criticism, these young men became heroes of TV series and movies, and achieved successive rapid successes.

Rabih, Khater, and Aws presented the movie “Hassan and Baqlz” (2016), then Rabih and Abd al-Rahman presented the movie “Khair and Baraka” (2017), and Khater presented – with a co-starring – the series “Herbana Minha”, and participated in the movie “Forced Escape”, and the rest of the members launched Masr Theater to participate in the most important artists starring their works.

In December 2019, Ashraf Abdel-Baqi announced the end of the Egypt Theater performances, after presenting 130 plays over a period of 7 years, announcing that the heroes of his theater had already become stars.

Almost 4 years after the end of the Masr Theater performances, can the heroes of this theater still attract the audience with cinematic films during the festive seasons in the face of more popular stars, who gradually established their stardom and gained a wide fan base such as Muhammad Ramadan?

Why is the audience turning away?

There are many reasons why the heroes of Masr Theater face challenges in the cinema. The audience, who used to see them together on TV presenting a long theatrical show that lasts for an hour and a half, interspersed with advertisements, used to watch them for free, just as he used to watch them together as one team, and each of them has a different distinctive personality. They are led by Ashraf Abdel-Baqi, with his spontaneity, experience, and long relationship with the public. Therefore, we see the heroes of Masrah Masr keen to attend together as a duo or trio in their films, but they are also not the multi-character team as they were in Masrah Masr.

Also, the most important reason is the same as the reason for stopping the Egyptian theater, which is the repetition of ideas. In an interview with Ashraf Abdel-Baqi with Rose Al-Youssef magazine, he confirmed that the reason for stopping Egypt Theater was the sufficiency of presenting 130 plays out of 130 new ideas. Despite the use of more than one workshop, he found that the ideas had become repetitive, so he rejected them.

At the same time, there were rumors of disagreements between the heroes of the Egyptian Theater, such as the withdrawal of this artist or his objection, as some of them suddenly became heroes of movies and TV series, and it was no longer possible for them to accept the same role next to their colleagues on the stage of Egypt Theater.

Magic is a common theme

In “After Evil” and “Ramses Paris”, we see magic as a common theme, where the poverty of ideas reaches the point of using the same theme and relying on a “magic drug” or “magic spell” in both films, where the drug in “Ramses Paris” causes a transmission The characters are from Cairo to Paris, while the spell turns Ali Rabie into something else, causing his romantic relationships to sour.

“After Evil” presents the story of a young man, Sully (Ali Rabei), who runs away from his first marriage during his wedding, to fall in love with a teacher who teaches his brother at his school, and tries to impress her, but he gets involved in a magic spell that spoils all his relationships.

The film stars Aws Aws, Bayoumi Fouad, Amr Abdel Jalil, Suleiman Eid, Hala Fakher, and Olfat Omar, and it was written by Amin Gamal and Walid Abul Magd, and directed by Ahmed Abdel Wahhab in his first cinematic experiences.

Eye on revenue

The film has become a strong competitor in Gulf theaters, and it is the new ambition of Egyptian film producers today, as success is no longer achieved in achieving good numbers in Egypt, but rather the most important thing is the new market in which Egyptian films achieve greater revenues.

The commercially successful sabky product mix is ​​still strong, but with new distribution scales. In the past, Sobky relied on many of his films on a trio: the baltagy, the dancer, and the popular song, which generated high revenues in Egyptian theaters.

“After Evil” tries to address all groups, to be a social film suitable for the family, especially with cramming scenes of the hero and heroine in an international school, where the hero visits his younger brother at his school, and tries in various ways to impress the beautiful teacher who is good at defending herself against attempts at harassment.

The film, as usual, falls into the trap of bullying and harassment, which is usually this wave of comedy films in Egyptian cinema that tries to extract laughter from ridiculing the appearance of others, or presenting ridiculous “jokes” to offend a girl. Unfortunately, we see these scenes in school in front of children.

The film also weakened the lackluster performance of its hero, Ali Rabie, and there is nothing new in Bayoumi Fouad’s performance. Rather, the viewer can be certain that he has seen his “expressions” and laughter several times before in other films.

Ramses Paris

The movie “Ramses Paris” tells the story of three people from a popular neighborhood (Mohamed Tharwat, Hamdi Al-Marghani, and Mahmoud Hafez) and a beautiful girl (Haifa Wehbe) who unite to steal the famous Mona Lisa from the Louvre Museum, within a framework of comedy and fantasy, with the participation of Mostafa Khater and Mohamed Salam, who is one of Written by Karim Hassan Bashir.

This time, director Ahmed Khaled Moussa is going through a production experience with the participation of Raymond Ramses, and in a relatively lavish production film, where filming takes place in the streets of Paris, but it seems that his production aspirations spoiled his successful artistic compass, and he is the one who presented successful commercial works such as “Forced Escape” (2017) or “The Thief of Baghdad” (2020), and in the Ramadan drama, his series “Kings of Jadana” achieved great success.

In the first third of the film, we see a film similar to the films of the nineties, about Hanin (Haifa Wehbe), a night girl who is looking for her clients in the streets of Cairo, and three single young men in the villa of one of them looking for entertainment, while filling these scenes with old jokes and poor dialogue, before We get to the most important story.

The film later moves to Paris, where smoking the magic drug causes the heroes to move from Cairo to the French capital, where they meet a con artist who specializes in stealing works of art (Mohamed Salam), who tries to use them to implement his plan to steal the Mona Lisa from the Louvre Museum.

At the end, the filmmakers are trying to upload more than what the audience wants from a “comedy” commercial movie, where the hero decides to exploit the magical abilities to steal Egyptian antiquities from the Louvre and return them to Egypt, as if stealing antiquities from a global museum is a “moral message” that deserves the audience’s applause.

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