Captain Abu Raed (2007)
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Critic Reviews for Captain Abu Raed
Great taste isn't quite the same as great filmmaking, and director Matalqa sometimes lapses into broad humour and even broader melodrama in this generally low-key, wistful tale.
A sweet-tempered tale about the power of fantasy and storytelling becomes a starker parable about human connection and personal sacrifice.
Writer-director Amin Matalqa's debut affirms life, plucks heartstrings, and knows no shame.
His journey makes for a complex film that goes beyond the obvious. It, too, travels. And it travels well.
An endearing blend of myth and melodrama that forthrightly explores family abuse in its own society.
Audience Reviews for Captain Abu Raed
Abu Raed (Nadim Sawalha)is a simple airport janitor at the International Airport in Amman. One day he finds a discarded captain's hat in the garbage.When he wears it on his way home, one of the kids in the neighborhood mistake him for a pilot and wants him to tell about 'his adventures'. Though he is unwilling to tell any story at first, Abu Raed doesn't mind pretending to be the local captain who regales the kids with his 'airborne exploits.' What seems to be a simple,unimportant hat at first turns out to be a treasure trove of love and fun.We later find out that Abu Raed is a guy who resists being an embittered, hardened old man in spite of the fact that he lost his wife and his only child. Though he is a simple janitor, he speaks profoundly from the heart. He is well-read and wise. He even has a smattering of a few European languages. With such an original story, truly moving picture and convincing acting you just want it to be bit more fast-paced actually. Since there are lots of subplots in the movie, during almost more than half of the movie you just wonder which set of events (or people) will be regarded less important. Whose story will be developed? The story of Nour (Rana Sultan), a female pilot whose wealthy father poorly tries to find her a husband or the story of the local kid Tareq (Udey Al-Qiddissi)who is forced into child labor by his father instead of going to school? In the end, Amin Matalqa chooses to tell the story of Abu Murad whose mother constantly gets beaten by his abusive father. Though you can't tell everyone's story in a feature length movie, Mataqa's finalizing all these subplots in a finale in the last twenty minutes leaves a half-baked flavor in your cinematic enjoyment and you wish it were a better-paced and better-edited movie but that doesn't mean Abu Raed is not a movie that's worth every minute of your time.It is purely humanitarian,truly moving movie which somehow gets to you. The pièce de résistance, however, is the fact that this movie Amin Matalqa's feature length debut. 4 1/2 Stars 9-5-13
Writer/director Amin Matalqa's film about a lonely widower begrudgingly befriending the local children blossoms into a look at the yearnings of the heart as well as the price such dreaming might cost. Filmed in Amman, Jordan, here is no brand name canned soup but the rather the homemade dinner call of a promising new voice.
A great little film. Maybe slow-moving by American standards, but insightful with developed characters, unpredictable, and very moving.
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