After around 30 years of the death of this genre, Egyptian war movies are finally back in the making with Al-Mammar. We were lucky enough to attend the premiere screening of the film, and dare we say that this is one of the greatest Egyptian films in the last decade maybe.
Based on the true story of “Group 39 Fighting”, the heroes of the Egyptian army who performed the first suicidal missions following our defeat from the Israeli army in 1967, Al-Mammar tackles both the humanitarian as well as the fighting and war aspects perfectly.
The story takes place during The War of Attrition period, where the group led by General Nour (portrayed by Ahmed Ezz) goes on a suicidal mission against the Israeli army. Minutes before the mission, a huge discovery puts them in a place where they have to make a hard choice; whether to keep going with the attack or just go back to Egypt and attempt to resume the mission at a later point.
The filmmakers made sure to show the emotional side of both the Egyptian soldiers and the citizens following the defeat. If you look deeper into the movie, you’ll find our sarcastic nature which helps us overcome the hardest circumstances shown through one brilliant scene portrayed by Haggag Abd El-Azim. You’ll be able to spot the fear of a young soldier who’s scared that the love of his life might not be able to see him again. The shame, the depression, the broken hearts, the pride, the love, the patriotism and every emotion you can think of is there on the screen and it was transmitted to almost every person in the cinema.
The members of Group 39 Fighting reflect the Egyptian society on so many levels. Coming from different social backgrounds and all fighting one enemy, regardless of how this country has mistreated them.
The stars of the film took acting to a whole new level. Taking us from desperation to love and warmness through the darkest times in no time. Ahmed Ezz, Ahmed Falawkas, and Ahmed Salah Hosny managed to show the real traits of leaders who can be tough and caring at the same time. Ahmed Rizk, however, was there to add some lightness to the atmosphere. Mohamed Sharnouby, Farrag, and everyone in the military group showed all mixed emotions perfectly. Being known for the role of the villain, Eyad Nassar did provoke almost everyone in the audience with his role as an Israeli officer. And finally, guest stars Hend Sabry and Sherif Mounir were only there for a couple of scenes, yet, they did show how things really there at that era.
With a soundtrack composed by Omar Khairat and direction of Sherif Arafa, two of Egypt’s tycoons in the cinema industry, we can definitely assure you that every single scene going a masterpiece and it will probably take you deeper into the story.
Al-Mammar is definitely a long movie, but it’s also an emotional roller coaster that will not bore you for a second. Some scenes made the whole cinema jump out of joy and start clapping while others brought tears to our eyes.