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Set entirely in an 8m police truck, a number of detainees from different political and social backgrounds are brought together by their inevitable fate, during the turmoil that followed the ousting of former president Morsi from power.Written by
An Egyptian gem that will thrill you to the bone! [+82%]
The movie opens with a few lines recounting the events that led to the heated rivalry between the Army (& pro-army supporters) and the Muslim Brotherhood (henceforth 'MB'); the camera having set its gaze inside an army truck.
A couple of journalists (who claim to be neutral to both factions) are arrested and brought into the truck. Their attempts at drawing an Anti-MB mob's attention to assist in their escape backfire when the senior reporter is observed to capture the incident on a watch that doubles as a camera. The army is forced to apprehend the mob for pelting stones and lock them inside the truck.
One thing leads to another and before we know it, a bunch of MB supporters are taken into custody and put along with the rest of the detainees in the truck. The situation outside is tense in itself, but imagine supporters of two rickety factions being forced to share a claustrophobic space together. The numbers comprise people not just with different political ideals, but of varied age-groups, religions and genders.
The writing is sensationally solid with lines given to members from both divisions to substantiate their character arcs. But circumstances are such that, eventually, all of them start to wilt and run out of hope (and breath) while stuck inside the van, left undeniably helpless when it comes to saving their own butts before their loved ones'.
The crowd includes individuals who are friends, relatives, acquaintances and even colleagues. Although it might seem a little difficult to follow the names and faces of each of the characters, the writing/direction is sublime enough to collectively grasp the divided opinion. What's astonishing here is how the Diabs even manage to bring in some unexpected comic relief as well in the form of a brilliantly-written scene involving a wannabe actor/singer, that is just a fleeting moment of joy before terror strikes yet again.
Cinematography work (by Ahmed Gabr) is first-rate. Even though shooting within the confined setting of the film must have been strenuous, there are plenty of visuals (and scenes in totality) that stick with the viewer: the adolescent woman who struggles hard to hold nature's calls but seemingly gives in at one point, the aspiring DJ who has had enough of seeing everyone around him riot and settles into his own "happy zone" by listening to music from his phone, the soldier who disobeys orders while delineating his humanitarian side, the reversal of fate for another officer (the list is endless!).
The crafting of the riot scenes taking place outside is magnificently believable and terrifying to perceive. To add to the positives of the film, the climactic finale was indeed difficult to envisage. The tagline of the film says "Conflict is on the Inside" and it reinstates this through a powerful narrative which delves into both political and personal strife. The film rightfully deserves a bigger audience and greater appreciation than it has already been earning.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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