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Network (1976)

المقالة باللغة العربية

“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” who can forget Howard Beale’s (Peter Finch) exciting speech, that expresses the feeling of millions of viewers?

Beale is  a news anchor, who loses his mind after his wife’s death, his addiction to alcohol, and his dismissal from his job due to his weak rating, instead of announcing that he would leave the show like anyone else would do in his place, he declares that he will commit suicide on live television, thus he becomes the talk of the media, and he stays on the show to keep presenting shocking speeches, and keeps on getting more famous.

 

The movie depicts the TV industry, especially the news, as a heartless and conscienceless business, that would use Beale as long as he makes a profit, and discard him as soon as he loses his value as a desired commodity. Continue reading

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Network (1976)

The article in English

“غضبي كجحيم مستعر، و أنا لن أحتمل كل هذا بعد اليوم.” من يستطيع نسيان خطاب Howard Beale (peter Finch) الحماسي، المعبر عن مشاعر ملايين؟

Beale  مذيع للأخبار، يفقد عقله بعد موت زوجته و إدمانه للكحول و فصله من العمل لضعف شهرته و تقييمه في القناة، بدلا من أن يعلن تركه للبرنامج كأي شخص آخر في مثل موقفه، يعلن إنه سيقدم على الانتحار على الهواء مباشرة، ليصبح بعد ذلك حديث المدينة، يواصل في إلقاء خطبه المفاجأة و الصادمة و تزداد شهرته.

الفيلم يعرض صناعة التلفزيون و خاصة الأخبار، كتجارة بلا قلب و بلا ضمير، تستغل Beale طالما يحقق ربحا، و تتخلى عنه عندما يفقد قيمته كسلعة مرغوبة بدون عناء. Continue reading


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The Blue Elephant (2014) الفيل الأزرق

المقالة باللغة العربية

What would you dare to do to save your marriage from clinically dying?The blue elephant discusses this question in a metaphysical and mysterious style.

Yehia (Karim Abdel Aziz) is a psychiatrist who is an alcoholic and a gambler, he is trying to overcome the loss of his wife Nermin and his daughter Nour in a tragic car accident, he is forced to return to his work under the threat of dismissal, so he is assigned to work in the ward 8 west in Al Abbasia hospital, a department that is assigned for those who have committed crimes due to insanity, Yehia is surprised to meet his college friend Sherif (Khaled El Sawy) who is being charged with the rape and murder of his wife Basma.

Yehia with the assistance of Sherif’s sister Lobna (Nelly Karim) tries to help Sherif by proving his innocence or at least his insanity, Thus Yehia throws himself into a dangerous adventure at the risk of losing his grip on reality.

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The Blue Elephant (2014) الفيل الأزرق

The article in English

ماذا تجرؤ على فعله لإنقاذ حياتك الزوجية من الموت إكلينيكيا؟ فيلم الفيل الأزرق يتناول هذه الفرضية في إطار ميتافيزيقي غامض و شيق.

يحيى (كريم عبد العزيز) هو طبيب نفسي مدمن للكحول و القمار، يحاول تخطي حادث موت زوجته نرمين و ابنته نور، و يضطر إلى العودة إلى العمل بعد انقطاع 5 سنوات تحت التهديد بالفصل، يعود يحيى إلى قسم 8 غرب في مستشفى العباسية المخصص للمجرمين الذين يعانوا من أمراض نفسية أو عقلية، و يفاجأ بوجود صديقه شريف (خالد الصاوي) متهما باغتصاب و قتل زوجته بسمة.

يحاول يحيى بمساعدة لبنى (نيللي كريم) أخت شريف إثبات براءة شريف أو على الأقل إثبات جنونه، فيدخل يحيى نفسه في مغامرة خطيرة تفقده بوصلته للواقع و الصحة العقلية. Continue reading


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One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest (1975)

المقالة باللغة العربية

The world is filled with systems that consist of rigid rules, that don’t allow for individuals to defy them even if they were meritless or even harmful.

One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest discusses this issue through the ward of a psychiatric hospital, where the patients spend their days in a boring and to some extent cruel routine, that is imposed upon them by the hospital’s administration and especially nurse Ratched, however everything changes when R.P. McMurphy joins them, he is a convicted criminal who is trying to escape his last punishment by pretending to be insane, assuming that his stay at the hospital would be an easier punishment to endure.

At first McMurphy defies all the rules that exist without a convincing reason, for he believed that the duration of his stay will be the same anyway, and the hospital’s administration will release him regardless of his behavior, but he later realize that he was mistaken, and they may decide to keep him for indefinite period, despite of this new information he keeps on resisting nurse Ratched and her rules.

The power conflict between McMurphy and Ratched is the axis which the plot revolves around, in the first two thirds of the movie the audience detests Ratched but is unable to condemn her, for she harshly and coldly compels everyone to abide by rules intended to protect all the patients and not just those who we get acquainted with through the narrative, but in the last third of the movie it is revealed to us how little she actually cares for the patients, and that her higher goal is the rules itself, McMurphy on the other hand is not perfect either, for while he cares for the patient as fellow humans he often forgets that his way – entertaining as it may be – is not a cure, he doesn’t consider the consequences of his behavior, from his perspective all the nurses and doctors are adversaries, even though they are not all against him.

Unfortunately the movie disparages the doctors’ role, and represents the hospital as a place to imprison and abuse the patients, it also depicts the stereotypical image of a mental patient as the comical segment of weirdoes who are incurable despite their verbal portrayal in a different light by McMurphy, there is a lot of shots that has been added as funny filling to lighten the stress from the main conflict, however it doesn’t deepen the understanding of the characters, this may have been acceptable in the 70s but – at least in my personal point of view – it is less acceptable now, regarding the feminine characters in the movie, they are almost non-existent, aside from nurse Ratched (the main antagonist) there is an assisting nurse with a minor role, and Candy who – like her name implies – is just the pretty girl whom McMurphy enjoys her company, and can be transferred without trouble to Billy, Candy does not act on her own, she simply does whatever McMurphy tells her to do.

The rebellious McMurphy was played by Jack Nicholson with a convincing performance that reflects the complexity of the stubborn character, that pretends to be submitting to the system while he constantly attempts to break it, even though the character is a manipulative criminal who would do anything to get what he wants, Jack Nicholson makes us not only sympathize with him but also love and support him, Nicholson also adds a comedic factor that is special for this actor unique features.

Nurse Ratched was played by Louise Fletcher who had an even more complex of a role, for she doesn’t show the coldness and evilness of the character in an overt act , it is in the tone of her voice, her glances, and in her sly smile, even her hairstyle makes her look more like a monster with horns, Louise Fletcher managed to smoothly present all those little messages to the audience, thus helping us in understanding why McMurphy hates her and the rest of the patients fear her.

With a lot of characters being in a limiting space, the director Milos Forman and the cinematographer Haskell Wexler shine, for they don’t make us feel that the frame is crowded unless the scene requires it, they create artistic masses with the actors bodies that emphasize or diminish the power from the conflict’s parties, they also create symbolic images, like the squirrel who runs on a barbed wire like McMurphy who is trying to navigate through a system that might kill or cripple him, Ratched’s hat (and her authority) got tarnished by the hands of the patients after they dared to follow McMurphy.

The movie examines whether it is better to abide a heartless system to achieve a common benefit, or support individual’s right to defy the rules and tolerate the consequences, the movie also answers with a passionate style and unexpected content, for all that in my opinion the movie deserves the rating of: 7,5/10