“Do you know that girl Royeh?… Do you know that girl Fatma? … Do you know that woman, Mahmoud’s wife?” The blind sheikh Hosny asks those who surround him about what happens in their neighborhood Kit Kat, he asks about their secrets, for how could they not know while they can see, and he who can not knows everything.
The movie Kit kat is about Sheikh Hosny who is addicted to smoking hashish (Cannabis) and playing lute, He secretly sells his only inheritance from his father “the house”, his son dreams about immigrating to Europe and asks Sheikh Hosny to help him with some money for his travel expenses.
There is a big group of stars who have participated in the making of this movie, every single one of them deserves a separate article for their effort, unfortunately I have to write briefly about some of them.
He suffers from poverty but he refuse to be victimized, he finds joy in playing music, singing and getting high with some of his friends, he enchants whomever he meets with his stories and music, he uses his sense of humor and his wits to overcome his circumstances and help his only son Youssef.
Sheik Hosny represents the artist who is aware of his society problems and he readily attempts to help in his own way, however most of those around him consider him weird, trying to assume a role that is unsuitable for him, for he can’t see what they see, they don’t realize that in return he can see what they don’t, maybe that what entice him to use hashish, it’s his only refuge from feeling lonely among people who might love him but can’t understand him.
The role was played by the unforgettable artist Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, who could have easily fallen in the trap of an exaggerated performance, for Mahmoud Abdel Aziz’s charismatic personality tends naturally towards comedy rather than tragedy, and Sheikh Hosny’s character include both, however he manages to create a perfect balance that helps us feel that the character is familiar and friendly, and even though Mahmoud Abdel Aziz is not a singer, he succeeds in performing the songs in the movie with his comedic style that makes us not only memorize the songs but attempt to sing along with him.
He is Sheikh Honsy’s only son, he inherits his love for art, he is fond of reading and likes to fish from the nearby Nile, nonetheless he fails to get a job, and just like his father the people of the neighborhood can’t understand him, but unlike his father, Youssef can’t understand them in return, his only concern is escaping the neighborhood and the entire country by immigrating to Europe where art is respected and life is valued.
Sherif Mounir played that role at the beginning of his artistic career, therefore the difference between his performance (as a young actor) and that of giants like Amina Rizk and Mahmoud Abdel Aziz is noticeable, However he manages to hold his ground in most of the scenes, especially in the scene where he confronts his father after discovering that he had already sold the house, Sherif Mounir’s presence with his vocal and physical performance is as strong as Mahmoud Abdel Aziz’s.
She is the daughter of this impoverished community, she the creature of its troubles and suffering, still when a chance in the form of a rich husband is offered to her to escape, she refuses to abandon her community, she chooses to stay and get divorced instead, she adores Youssef even though he wouldn’t look at her, but she knows if he truly saw her, he would certainly love her back, she is exactly like her neighborhood, and as she describe the situation herself: “whenever I look at myself in the mirror… I don’t find any ugliness in me… but I don’t find a superb beauty either.” she is the link between Youssef and the neighborhood, she is only one who can reconciliate them.
Ayda Reyad’s performance was very suitable to the realistic style of the movie, for she reflects the character’s feelings of loneliness and deprivation with great depth and honesty.
The décor and the music:
The décor is designed by Ansy Abu Seif, and it makes us sympathize with the characters’ suffering, there is traces of poverty and need everywhere, and regard for beauty (in the classical term) is an unaffordable luxury.
The apartments are so crowded with the small possessions they have, the paint has peeled of the walls so long ago, and there is no means to repaint it.
The alleys are so narrow with the buildings that would almost stick to one another, and the inhabitants who escape their even narrower apartments.
The music is composed by Ragueh Daoud, it captivates the listeners like Sheikh Hosny’s stories, it raises the audience from the misery of the poverty-stricken locale to a spiritual world that values goodness and beauty, the combination of the music and the décor achieve an indispensable balance.
The cinematography and direction:
The man behind this masterpiece is the director Daoud Abdel Sayed, his eyes pick up all the detail of the alleys and the apartments, he harmonize the performances of the actors like one enchanting piece of music, he is also responsible for the scenario with its memorable lines.
There is a lot of scenes that are noteworthy for its visual message, for example:
We fallow Sheikh Hosny’s hand as it feels for the road, the movement of the camera gives the impression that he is our guide to be acquainted with his community, we live with him the hesitation in his steps.
The images of the movie, like its scenario is filled with a sense of humor, in this scene Youssef is attaching the fishing line with the hook, just like any professional Egyptian fisherman he can place the hook and part of the line in his mouth, and tie them using only his tongue, at the same time his grandmother is telling him that Fatma came by his apartment claiming that she wants him, he finally starts to pay attention to Fatma as he wonders what could she possibly want from him, in this moment the predator turns to a prey.
In this scene Fatma feels upset because of Youssef’s constant indifference, as she returns home, she fails to find a private place where she can cry without anyone’s interference, the only available room is the bathroom, she sits in a corner surrounded by darkness, which reflects her feelings of misery, loneliness, and worthlessness.
The Kit Kat as an example of what a caring cast would achieve, as its success can’t be solely attributed to the acting’s quality, the music’s beauty, or the director’s attentiveness, it is a blend of all that and more, the movie is one of the best production of the Egyptian cinema, and it is worthy of its status among viewers and critics.