Ashraf Abdel-Baki: Rasha Garea is not a Hit, yet a Reminder of the Good Old Days
“Rasha Garea (Daring Genorisity) is like an old car that you like very much despite its faults: it is always slow to start, but is a constant reminder of the good old days.” Ashraf Abdel-Baki, the film's star, told cairolive.com.
Over the past few years, Ashraf watched as his compatriots, comics from his same generation, like Ahmed Adam, Alaa Walieddin, and, most famously, Mohamed Heneidi, skyrocketed to mega-stardom, while Ashraf himself hardly advanced past the supporting roles. Whenever he did get the chance to star, his films never seemed to make it big at the box office, said the cairolive report.
With “Rasha Garea,” Ashraf is determined not to make the same mistakes of “Ashyak Wad fi Roksi” (The Chicest Boy in Roxy), his major flop of a few years ago. To help him out, he's brought in a loveable former ad girl, Yasmine Abdel-Aziz, and decided to go for the light romantic comedy, supported by the heavy marketing campaign.
Yasmine is the face anyone who's watched TV in Egypt over the past five years knows by heart from nearly a million yogurt, washing machine, and juice ads. Here she shows that she can play the siren with a heart of gold as well as the best of them.
She and Ashraf play wanna-be actors on the trail to fame. He's Salmawy, a poor guy from Tanta who just wants to make it big in the big city, and she's the girl with no place to call home. They're both desperate for big roles, and as they keep meeting up at the same casting calls, they become friends, and eventually (of course) fall in love.
Salmawy lives on the roof of a building in Tahrir Square and practices Othello day and night. Eventually, he gets his chance to play the Shakespearean hero, but only if he goes along with the homosexual director's advances.
That somewhat daring plot line is reflective of the film's tendency to give and take from real life. And since it is a film about the acting life, it is also filled with a lot of inside jokes, and self-referential cameos.
Heneidi and many more of Ashraf's real-life friends are seen attending the opening night of Salmawy's play, said the report.
One of the film's funniest lines happens while our heroes are escaping in a cab, said cairolive.
"Take us to the television building," they urge the driver.
Completely straight-faced, he asks them, "Channel 1 or 2?"
According to the report, it's these little gags that keep you laughing for a while, and balance out some of the sap in between. And like Ashraf Abdel-Baki himself, the audience survives. Everyone keeps telling Salmawy to go back to Tanta and apologize to his father for not staying in the village and tending the land, but he is adamant. He's going to make it – Albawaba.com
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