Radwan Al Kashef’s 'Magician' Mixes Magic, Misery!
The Egyptian film Al Saher (Magician), directed by Radwan Al Kashef, was screened last Tuesday during the 12th Damascus Film Festival official contest. It depicts the worlds of simple people and their suffering from misery and deprivation, according to news agencies.
Earlier, Kashef featured this world and the world of marginal people in his first film Leh Ya Banafsag (Why Purple?), but the script of the film Magician, written by Sami Al Sewi, does not tell about only one story but rather a group of stories, the most important which is the one in which the magician Mansour Bahgat lives.
In contrast with the title, the audience becomes familiarized with the magician after he stops his spells.
Mansour is a retired man who through his humor constitutes a wellspring of stories and tales.
The magician is played well by the actor Mahmoud Abdel Aziz who at the beginning turns down pleas from Shawkiyyah (played by Salwa Khattab) to live with her son in the same room on the roof.
Shawkiyyah, who works as a beautician, seeks to kill her husband, who harms her femininity by marrying another woman. Her son Ali is at the risk of loosing his sight completely unless he undergoes a surgical operation.
In addition to these characters, there is the old miserable neighbor who spends his life riding horses and dreaming of owning one without being able to do so. There is also the young sexually incompetent young man who constantly hopes to restore his masculinity without any success. There is also the young adolescent daughter (played by Minnah Shalabi) who discovers her femininity at a time when her father forces her to stay at home out of his fear for her.
From the beginning, the raising of the girl by her father appears to be problematic, as he deprives her even of going to school. This deprivation causes her to react violently, particularly in view of her young age, 16. Her character poses a problem for the magician, who does not know how to deal with her, while the daughter makes secret plans to get rid of her father’s oppression.
Despite the consolidation of the drama in the first part of the film, events slow down and weaken in the course of the film. The core relationship between the adolescent girl and her widower father could have been dealt with in a better manner but this opportunity was lost in formulating balanced relations, including the sympathetic ties between the father Mansour and his neighbor. This relationship finally develops into a romantic bond featuring a kiss, which rounds out the film with a happy ending – Albawaba.com