Film Review: Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim

A fantasy film is the filmmakers’ chance to bring their imagination to the big screen, whether by using special effects or not, and there’s no debate that fantasy is a unique genre that has it beauty. But the fact that a fantasy film is something we usually don’t find in Egypt is disappointing even though we have many talented creators; until Mohamed Hefzy came to support and produce these unique fantasies.

Ali believes his late girlfriend’s soul has been reincarnated in a goat. The story follows Ali, his goat and his friend Ibrahim as they embark on a journey of friendship and self-discovery across Egypt to reverse the curse. Starring Ali Sobhy, Ahmed Magdy and Nahed El Sebai. Written by Ibrahim El-Batout and Ahmed Amer and directed by Sherif El Bendary.ali

The idea of the story was beautifully simple; a guy engaged to a goat and another has episodes of voices in his head. But the genius thing about it is the symbolism of two outcasts who can’t fit in their society until they find each other and be convinced that it’s normal to be different. That’s what I liked about the story and that’s what shaped the greatest films in history; symbolism. If your film doesn’t symbolize anything, and I do say anything, then you don’t have a film.

On the other hand, there are certain events that I didn’t like and were somehow irrelevant. Without spoiling the movie, there are some events that needed to be explained more and others that had no relevance to the story, absurdly unrealistic and could’ve been done better. For example, the story didn’t give any disclosure in the end and not in the way that makes you think about it but in the way that the ending didn’t give any solutions to the characters.

Ali Sobhy’s performance was incredible; it was simple and convincing in the way that he’s not acting. He’s an aspiring rising actor who has a lot to give to the big screen. In my opinion, casting Ahmed Magdy wasn’t a good idea; I couldn’t see him as a lower class guy living in the slums of Cairo and working in a studio recording “Mahraganat”. It just wasn’t right. Having said all that, the most thing that I genuinely love about the movie is the cinematography, it was genius and close to perfect and I’m really glad that we reached this level of cinematography in Egypt.

I give Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim 7.5/10. I truly liked it, I like the idea but it needed some major changes. Go catch the film while you can in Zawya cinemas in Cairo and hopefully they’ll show it again in Alexandria.

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