El Khaleya: A Delightful Seasonal Production

From the man who revolutionized the entire genre with his iconic Tito back in 2004, comes his latest action production after several postponements that finally landed the film in this Eid’s cinematic season. Tarek El-Eryan, after previously rocking the box office with Ahmed Ezz in Welad Rizk, has decided to give their productive collaboration another shot, aiming to revive their former success with El Khaleya.

El Khaleya is centered on Seif; the recklessly brave leader of special troop’s forces. The plot’s proceedings are led by his professional struggles and personal challenges as we get involved with his rushed incentives and their impact on his life, crafted in fast-paced atmospheres that emphasize the jeopardies of maintaining peaceable environments on behalf of law-enforcement parties on their quest against terrorism.

By constructing the film’s story and guiding the final output from upon the director’s seat, Tarek El-Eryan was in full charge of the film’s reins, despite having its scenario delivered by Salah El Goheny. This had echoed on maintaining the film a persistent theme with no confusing interferences regarding conflicting ideas or overlapping thoughts, giving El-Eryan the space to solely project his refined ideas, which sustained its regular visual entertainment, on the set of the project.

Unlike Tito, El Khaleya had much room for comedic minutes and laughable occasions that were of great effectiveness and constant domination. It didn’t follow the 2004’s hit in its gloom and seriousness, but wasn’t a poorly-presented comical project either. Balancing between delightful lightness and thrilling anticipation, El Khaleya has successfully advantaged from the grey area between both genres to create a theatrical experience that grants audience their desired seasonal joy, that doesn’t care much about innovative layouts.

Following the genre’s previous projects, El Khaleya’s script was pretty conventional for sequencing its story on the known-by-heart progression presented in such movies. It also followed the genre’s traditional character construction through assigning the protagonist a high-class lifestyle, a fine romance and frequent humoring phrases. However, it showed slight tendency for innovation in the antagonist representation, with the brief display of his personal matters and family business that could’ve been utilized to fire up motives and ignite our eagerness for the final duel. Unfortunately, such potential singularity wasn’t developed, but wasted into the naivety of the film’s helpless evil side and its dull-structured format.

Despite the film’s regular screenplay, El Khaleya was blessed with other solid elements that were capable of filling in such drawbacks, summarized in the presence of Ahmed Ezz and the leadership of Tarek El-Eryan. The latter’s trademark for nailing action sequences has peaked to the extent of designing the film’s main car-chasing scene in the narrowest of roads and the busiest of neighborhoods using a an outdated Volkswagen and a roofless Renault Logan! Scenes of violent engagements, man-to-man combats and exchange of gunfire also weren’t any less fascinating in their execution, to assure that his habitual superiority in regards to the visuals is still intact. On the other hand, El Eryan’s distinguished portrayal of the movie’s terrorists has terminated their outdated stereotypical form in cinematic representations. Therefore, up-to-date casual apparels and modern speaking tones were the proper replacements to white robes and vintage Arabic accents, which equipped his frames with convincing reality.

Talking about Egyptian actors possessing joyous charismatic appearance that fits every role and an exceptional chemistry that goes along every other acting partner must feature Ahmed Ezz, who tops Egyptian entertainers without a doubt. Being a masterful spontaneous deliverer when it comes to comedic lines, dramatic scenes, action stunts and romantic minutes, his entertaining two-hour companionship and personification skills have enriched his standard role and earned it his distinguished personality. Likewise, he had also applied his unique compatibility to bond with Mohamed Mamdouh, who supervised the film’s extreme hilarity at every time he got to share the screen with Ezz, offering us his pleasant performance.

Commanding the terrorists’ camp, we got to enjoy the Syrian actor Samer El Masry in his debut to Egyptian projects. His delicate personification to his role highlighted the actor’s exquisiteness, regardless of the typicality of his role that could have been among the best antagonists in Egyptian cinema if it weren’t for its general faultiness and cliché interventions. We also got to watch Amina Khalil preserving her preference for regularity in her second appearance this cinematic season, starring in El Kenz. After adding a new role to her chain of identical ones, we really hope for Amina to seriously consider stepping out of her comfort zone by going for what’s renovating and challenging, as her beauty won’t solely stand against audience’s boredom of her repeatable choices that mainly count on her charm.

Eyeing Hesham Nazih’s name in the opening credits of any Egyptian production, regardless of its genre, cast or atmospheres automatically grants a memorable audible experience. His work in El Khaleya had fired up our emotions at every milestone as he established his pieces on the blending of cello tunes, guitar strings and piano melodies to lead his energetic beats that were our adequate escort to navigate the film’s chapters, acquiring Nazih’s filmography another masterful title. Musical enchantment also continues with Asala & Esseily’s appealing song that concludes the film, so make sure not to follow those who walk out at the sight of closing credits and stay till the very end.

Although it’s predictable and lacks Tito’s dazzle, El Khaleya offers the audience what they look for in seasonal productions, which aided the film to top the Egyptian box office, surpassing El Kenz so far. If you’re in favor of two delightful hours of action-comedy to squeeze into your plans and to lighten up your Eid’s festivities, then El Khaleya is your pick!