Last night, we attended the premiere of the Egyptian film, ‘Hassan Al Masry’ or ‘Hassan, The Egyptian.’ The film starring Ahmed Hatem marks a fresh character, different from any role he’s previously done, with the only similarity being that he’s played his fair share of characters named Hassan. The film follows Hassan, a driver for a security company who protects a young girl (Nadia) played by Lina Sophia Ben Hamman after he’s gone through a tragic, life-altering experience…let’s just leave it at that.
The film marks Egypt’s Nora Labib’s writing debut as she’s previously known for acting in ‘Ali Meaza wa Ibrahim’ and ‘Baad Al Mawkea.’ With just one project, Labib was able to pull on your heartstrings with emotional dialogue while having you on the edge of your seat right after. It’s also co-written by Egypt’s Samar Taher, marking her first film project, she’s known for crafting TV shows such as ‘Ilana Ana,’ ‘Mommies Group,’ ‘Hajar Gohanam’ and more. It was directed by Lebanese filmmaker, Samir El Habashy who is renowned for orchestrating thrilling and dramatic vibes ranging from projects like ‘Aswad’ to ‘Ward Jouri’.
Ahmed Hatem’s performance strikes the perfect balance between emotional and powerful. We caught up with the star to learn how he prepped for the role. “I worked on the role itself, by myself and with an acting coach and I also worked on the physical performance for the things that have action scenes.” In addition to sharing the aspect that most intrigued him about the script, “it’s new for me as a genre and it was a challenge… the character is intense, noir, more on the dark side when it comes to his emotions which is different than my previous roles.”
Alongside Hatem, the film stars Sophia Ben Hamman and Diamand Bou Abboud who play their roles expertly. It’s also important to note how the film promotes a Pan-Arab experience. Also, one other element that caught our attention was the ear-worm promotional song, ‘Wala Bakhtaar’ by Ali Loka.
‘Hassan Al Masry’ effortlessly blends between suspense and honing in on relationships. At the core of it, it’s a human story, and after watching you’ll start loving a duo you never knew you needed, Hatem and Ben Hamman. The film inspires people while entertaining them at every minute.
Hatem concluded our chat by describing what he hopes people take away from the film, “I hope people know that they can always have a fresh start. They can have second chances and not give up from the first time.”
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