Finding Ola: The Success Story of a Postmodern Cinderella

As Netflix MENA announced the release of a new show starring Hend Sabry as Ola Abdel-Sabour, most Egyptians were waiting patiently to see the comeback of one of their favorite characters in drama.

“Ayza Atgwez” or “I want to get married”, is a 2010 Egyptian drama about a 30-year-old woman, Ola Abdel-Sabor whose life revolves around the desire to get married and start a family.

Once “Finding Ola” dropped on Netflix this past Thursday, I binged it, asking myself what I assume most “Ayza Atgwez” fans asked as well; Will Netflix ruin our favorite characters, Ola and Suhair? Are these fancy houses and couture we saw in the trailer representative of our “Ayza Atgwez”? Will we relate to Ola in high couture as we related to her in a Carina top?

Finding Ola in a nutshell

The new show is a limited series of 6 episodes. Just like the previous show, each episode has a new guest star, except the first episode which focused on Hany Adel as doctor Hesham and his wife Ola Abdel-Sabor and their two kids Salim and Nadia.

How did Ola Abdel-Sabour lose herself?

The old show’s Ola was a girl driven by social pressure to get married and have a family, she did not have any further motivations in life and hence it became an ongoing struggle to either surrender to the social pressure and marry whoever was ready to take her or to wait until she meets the one.

The young and struggling girl did not lose herself because she was always lost. The first episode of the new show explains this perfectly as it depicts Ola as a typical Egyptian mom who never knew that she was miserable until her husband told her out of the blue that he wants to get a divorce. A shocking event in a very boring routine life.

Finding herself alone, penniless, and divorced in her 40s she had to struggle again but this time to find what defines her as an individual. What makes Ola a person?

Through establishing her own business and finding her way back to an old rebellious friend played by Nada Mousa, she starts a hard journey of self-discovery.

The new show presents itself as Ola’s journey with a light comedy theme that is not so different from the old one.

The fourth wall was broken fashionably

Breaking the fourth wall in drama is very tricky, but Hady El-Baghoury did not fail in delivering a broken fourth wall fashionably and with taste. Every time Ola looks to the camera and directly speaks to her audience, she repolishes the previously built relationship with old show fans and reminds us that she is still the same Ola Abdel-Sabour we loved but in a new phase of her life and in a new era.

Doctor Hesham: A man living his teenage years very late

Finding Ola
Via: Filfan

A man who lived his whole life following rules and doing what he was expected to do, ended up with a middle-age crisis, depression, and a heart attack at 45. Unlike Ola, who was unconsciously going through the same struggles due to the same urges, Hesham decided to free himself from the marital chains. Is he a villain? Well based on this decision no, but based on how he conducted the consequences of his decision, he might be.

Khalid El-Nabawy: Prince Charming

Finding Ola
Via: Filfan

The first guest to appear is Khalid El-Nabawy who came to teach Ola that she can be financially independent in order to seek her own freedom, but the way he was portrayed as “Prince charming” got out of hand and turned into a continuity of cheesy lines and actions.

The way he talks and moves was cliché and I doubt that there is any real human being who speaks like that. Sounds made up and forced.

Maybe El-Bagoury wanted to say that prince charming is a cheesy and cliché idea? But the whole character was awkward anyway.

New generation Z, new roles for children

One of the things that bug me really bad in Egyptian drama and cinema is how the writers and directors disregard children and portray them as mindless toddlers regardless of how old they are.

But “Finding Ola” skipped the cliché and managed to build very realistic and modern kids roles.

Zeina, the 14-year-old family friend, played by the beautiful new star Yasmina El-Abd, was a very influential character with authentic opinions and thoughts.

Nadia, Ola’s daughter came out as an almost adult without disregarding the dynamics of the teenage girl. Understanding the new era ways more than her mom, Nadia managed to use social media to establish a marketing strategy for Ola’snew business, which makes her a business partner.

Nadia was not just a business partner but a friend and support for her mom who pushed her into going on and not to surrender to what used to make her miserable.

Salim, the 11-year-old son came out wise and fair and has a voice of his own which makes him an influential character in the show.

A man with a middle-age crisis VS the success story of a postmodern Cinderella

While doctor Hesham managed his middle-aged crisis in the worst possible way and caused a lot of damage around him, Ola lived the postmodern story of a privileged princess.

Ola was supposed to find herself, but in the first episode she meets a brilliant business coach who offers to help her for free, and as Ola says upon hearing this offer “That’s the justice of the heavens” I find this a silly Ex-Machina that’s sent by the heavens to save the troubled princess.

We can also argue that Ola who spent her twenties and most of her thirties looking for a man won’t change suddenly and be a self-driven woman unless she learns the lesson the hard way.

As the show continues, Ola finds herself surrounded by handsome men ready to uplift her through her journey. So I am not sure if this is a self-discovery story or a postmodern Egyptian Cinderella tale.

But the final episode offers Ola a chance to keep going on her own, with no man.

Then there was Dina’s episode

Dina’s appearance in the final episode changed everything and closed the show with the sweetest dance a woman can end anything with.

Finally: The show is good, we would give it 7.5/10. Did you watch the show? Do you agree with us? Let us know.

WE SAID THIS: DO NOT MISS: Amie Sultan: Taking Belly Dancing From the Stage all the Way to UNESCO

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