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A Citizen, a Detective and a Thief (2001)

Cast: Khaled Abol Naga, Salah Abdallah, Hend Sabri, more...
Director: Daoud Abdel Sayed
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Arab FIlms
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Foreign, Middle East
Running Time: 135 min.

Synopsis
An engrossing comedy-drama that examines issues facing Egyptian society today, A CITIZEN, A DETECTIVE AND A THIEF features Egyptian heartthrob Khaled Abol Naga as Selim, a handsome and successful writer who triggers an elaborate chain of events when he visits police headquarters to report his car stolen. There he runs into the bumbling Sergeant Fathy Abdel Ghafour, an old family friend who now works as a detective. When the meddlesome Sergeant Fathy insists on hiring a live-in housekeeper for his old friend, Selim's life becomes inextricably intertwined with that of his beautiful new housemaid, her thieving husband and the well-meaning detective.

GreenCine Member Reviews

Culture shock by Cinenaut March 4, 2007 - 7:38 PM PST
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2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Filtered through my Western sensibilities, this "comedy" was fairly disturbing, for reasons I'll outline below. It was also overlong - padded with a few too many drawn out musical numbers. I rented this DVD partially because of the image of the lovely young woman in the cover art, along with curiosity about exactly what an Egyptian comedy would be like.

WARNING: Major Spoilers
Little did I realize that the Detective would give said female lead not one, but two major beatings while the young male lead (the "Citizen" of the title) stands passively by with only a few minor attempts to stop the violence and some residual angst.

As for the Thief, he has shelves of "immoral" books that he uses for heating and cooking fuel. He ends up burning the Citizen's unpublished first novel because it's not moral enough. Some of the reasons he gives are that a woman commits adultery with no adverse consequences, prayer is not mentioned and the characters don't celebrate Ramadan during the course of the novel. So the as yet unpublished novel gets burned. The Citizen then uses his index finger to poke out the Thief's eye, which prompts a song and dance number during the Thief's subsequent hospital stay. After that, everybody makes up and the Citizen, the Detective and the Thief all end up dancing the macarena together (no, I'm not making this up). The three have formed a publishing house and the Citizen allows the Thief to review all his future novels before publication. He's wed the young woman, who apparently doesn't mind that the Citizen is best friends and business partners with the Detective who'd previously only stopped kicking her in the stomach because she said she was pregnant.




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