Original Title: Bab el hadid
Director: Youssef Chahine
The Egyptian National team was founded in 1921 and something that surprised me its 97 years of existence, the Egyptian Football Association team only played in two FIFA World Cups so far, the second one, in 1934 and again in 1990.
The first two times, like Russia and Saudi Arabia, they stopped at the group stage. Now, after 28 years, The Pharaos qualified for another World Cup, and I’m betting they will make the knockout stage.
The reasons I think they will make it at least round of 16 have a name and surname: Mohamed Salah.
The amazing Liverpool forward. At 25, he’s already the fourth top scorer in Egypt’s history with 33 goals and has everything to be the third until the end of the World Cup.
I was craving for some movie out of the 2010’s era, and the moment arrived. I was about to do a film from the 60’s right before I had this Special idea, so I paused that movie and started the Special.
Of course, Lang and Hitchcock are unfair comparisons, and beside my mention, I will not compare Chahine with these two genii (plural of genius). Cairo Station has merits of its own and I will do my best to point them without spoilers.
Now we are in 1958, Youssef Chahine is both director and protagonist, and he does both well. His acting is absurd, he’s absolutely amazing as Qinawi, a physically disabled peddler obsessed with a girl named Hanuma.
Beyond this trio of characters, Cairo Station is a movie with various little stories within its major plot, all of these stories inside the train station and resonating with some part of the Egyptian society at the time.
The movie has a clear change of tone and Chahine executed this change perfectly, in a way that it does not feel forced.
Like the movie, my review has a necessary change of tone. So far, I already talked about the things I liked about the movie, but the movie is not perfect and I think I did not like as much as I originally thought I would.
The film didn’t move me as much, I didn’t feel it in my gut. I know it’s kind of inexplicable, but what I mean is that every experience touches you in a different way, and this one did not move with my emotion as much.
It’s a very simple movie, with only one hour and 17 minutes of running time, I think more time would benefit the development of some aspects. With so many little stories, I felt like some were underdeveloped or unfinished.
Cairo Station is great in many ways and very well executed, but it fell short in other ways, and for this reason, my rating is: