Sunday, March 8, 2009

Derrill of Arabia 5: Fin

On the flight to and from Kuwait, I saw the best Arab movie (twice!). It's called Reda, which means satisfaction, but I think the English title is The Good Life, or something like that. I watched with English subtitles, but missed the first 5 minutes or so both times. Since has so very little information on it even if you manage to find the flick, I'll describe it while the other fish videos are uploading. It stars comedian Ahmed Helmi and Mena Shalaby.

Most of the time, this is a romantic comedy. Three physically identical twin brothers with neurotically different personalities fall for the same girl. Semsen is the closest thing to a main character of the three - intelligent, religious, socially backward, and cowardly. He's seeing a shrink to help him be more self-assertive. Prince is the over-tough guy who carries knives, smokes several packs a day, and wears a black executioner's hood at home. Bebo is obsessed with his soccer team and is the goofiest of the three.

Together they run some swindling schemes going under the alias "Reda." One example: Semsen goes in to a doctor complaining of a problem and claims that he has a miracle drug that will cure it. He goes out to get it and Prince walks in, takes the drug, and the doctor can't find the problem anymore. Doctor pays them Big Money. Bebo meanwhile is at the police station so that if anyone brings a case, they have an alibi since no one has any idea that "Reda," their united alter ego, is actually three people.

Early in the film, they each meet the girl. At first they try to outwit each other trying to spend time with her without the others knowing about it. When they realize and confess they are all in love, they try to share her, taking turns until it becomes obvious this won't work. Most of the comedy centers around their antics and trying to convince her that they are only one person. But since the brothers don't communicate very well, she gets very frustrated that they never remember anything she tells them.

SPOILER ALERT. The girl's mother is dreadfully ill. She needs an operation in England and their wicked rich uncle won't help them. So the brothers devise a scam to rob the uncle of the amount needed for her trip and operation. They deposit their illicet earnings in his financial corporation and then go to thee separate branches, withdrawing the money at the exact same time from each of them. This would have tripled their earnings, but Semsen dropped his case and bolted when the clerk called him back. They decide to give her all their money and she leaves.

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT. Then the film takes a decided left turn. Semsen sees her car one day. He goes to her shop and learns she was only a customer, not the owner as she claimed. He goes to her apartment and learns that she only rented it for one month. He talks to the other brothers and they figure out that she was going under an assumed name also. Semsen then discovers that his shrink is in on it too. The rest of the film is a remarkable thriller about how the brothers capture the girl and doctor, force the truth from them, return the money to the wronged "uncle" and live happily ever after as ... ah, but that would be telling.

END OF SPOILERS. I really enjoyed it. In Kuwait or underway, I also saw Wall-E which we then enjoyed for Valentines Day, plus Jurassic Park and a couple thrillers which were delightfully edited. I appreciated watching the thrillers in Kuwait much more than I would have in the US.

This concludes our Derrill of Arabia series.

No comments: