YOMEDDINE movie review is here. The 2018 Egyptian drama directed by Abu Bakr Shawky was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Featuring Rady Gamal and Ahmed Abdelhafiz, YOMEDDINE is releasing in India on August 23, 2019 through PVR cinemas in association with In2Infotainment, Kahwa films and Vkaao. Here is the review of YOMEDDINE – nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Immediate reaction when the end credits
Can a story featuring a real outcast – a leper who still lives in a leper colony travels all roads and gain universal appeal?.Constantly hum a sweet violin on humanity and acceptance?. Gift us something that constantly reminds us on our sinful practices of discrimination amongst humans?. Abu Bakr Shawky’s YOMEDDINE does that and how!
The Story of YOMEDDINE
Beshay (Rady Gamal) a man cured of leprosy, has never left the leper colony in the Egyptian desert where he has lived since childhood. Following the death of his wife, he finally decides to go in search of his roots. With his meager possessions strapped to a donkey cart, he sets out. Quickly joined by the young Obama (Ahmed Abdelhafiz), the Nubian orphan he has taken under his wing, Beshay will cross Egypt and confront the world with all its sorrows, its hardships and moments of grace, in his quest for a family, a place where he belongs.
YOMEDDINE movie review
Yomeddine means Judgement Day in the Egyptian language. The movie opens with Beshay (Gamal) with his gnarled hands and fingers going through the garbage dump. He finds one recorder and playfully enjoys the moment. Beshay lives in a leper colony and earns from his collections from the garbage – a treasure for him. Beshay has a life that is certainly better than many. His donkey Harby is his only companion after the death of his mentally ill wife, Ireny (Shoq Emara). Lonely Beshay decides to find his roots and embarks on a journey of finding his roots accompanied by Harby and a young orphan Obama (Ahmed Abdelhafiz).
Debuting director A.B. Shawky’s YOMEDDINE is a sentimental road trip that is driven by the pious, real and simplistic nature of Beshay. Casting Gamal turns out to be a masterstroke in this soul stirring road trip that begins with adventure, then turns unfortunate, gains exotica ( brief stop at the Pyramids), and then finds solace in the company of another breed of outcast Hamed (Yasser El-Ayouti), a legless former truck driver who now begs for a living with pride.
The known elements of a blind understanding the pain of a blind, the meaning of equality from the other side, a profound statement on the ‘Judgement Day’ the scene just after Harby is buried) brings magic as the movie constantly steers with layers on the changing scenario/meaning of an ‘outcast’. All these are twined with a familiar thread of sentimentality/elements used in a road trip/coming of age saga. Shot brilliantly by Argentinian cinematographer Federico Cesca, YOMEDDINE is actually a feature update of A.B. Shawky’s 2009 short documentary “The Colony,”.
Gamal is the body, flesh and blood while A.B. Shawky is the heart and soul of YOMEDDINE, no bones about it. Gamal plays a cured leper in the movie and he is ‘contagiously’ endearing. It’s so real, compassionate and humane.
A.B. Shawky uses familiar traits of a road trip like robbery etc to manipulate; it comes with an extra pressure of being a Palme d’Or nominee for intellectuals. It should be rather seen as a sweet heart felt chapter on humanity on screen more than anything else.
Yomeddine is a beautifully played, soothing violin on humanity and acceptance that should be heard and seen by the true connoisseurs of fine arts and lovers of heartfelt cinema.