Egyptian action comedy film Al Khalya (The Cell), set to release across cinemas in the UAE this Eid Al Adha, will battle with Arabic drama, Al Kanz Part 1, as well as other top Hollywood and Bollywood titles at the box office. Starring Ahmad Ezz, Samer Al Masrei and Mohammad Mamdouh, the film is about Seif, a special operations officer who plots to destroy a terrorist cell. Here are five other things to know about the film:
1. Ahmad Ezz’s comeback to films
Lead actor Ahmad Ezz, who completes two decades in the Egyptian film and TV industry this year, returns to the big screen after last appearing in the 2015 action comedy film, Welad Rizk, playing the role of Reda, one out of the four brothers who run an illegal business, promising to stop one day. In Al Khalya, Ezz plays the lead role of Seif, a special operations officer.
2. Red carpet premiere in Dubai
Novo Cinemas will kick off the Eid holidays weekend hosting the film’s cast along with director Tarek Al Erian and a special appearance by his wife, Assala Nasri, a Syrian singing sensation, at Dubai Festival City on Wednesday (August 30). The stars will interact with fans at the red carpet, followed by the film’s premiere.
3. Samer Al Masri also starred in an Arabic-style ‘Game of Thrones’
Titled Orchidea, the TV show was aired during Ramadan, and is one of the largest historic dramas created based on war between fictional kingdoms in ancient Sumeria, Assyria and Egypt. Al Masri, who stars in Al Khalya, plays the role of King Janaaby in the adaptation. It was directed by Syrian actor-director Hatem Ali and was shot across Romania and France.
3. Amina Khalil and Mohammad Mamdouh return after Grand Hotel
The film’s co-stars Amina Khalil and Mohammad Mamdouh previously acted together in the 2016 TV show, Grand Hotel, a TV show set during the 1950s, based on the many mysteries hidden in a lavish hotel in the city of Aswan. Khalil plays the role of Nazly, the daughter of the hotel’s owner, whilst Mamdhouh plays the role of Amin, the rightful owner of the hotel and a selfless character who had to let go of his love.
5. The Ahmad Ezz controversy
Ezz, the main star of the film was last year sentenced to prison for slandering actress Zeina. The former model had, in 2014, named Ezz as the father of her twins. Ezz denied the claims and refused to undergo a court-mandated DNA test. In 2015, a Cairo court ruled in favour of Zeina, proclaiming Ezz as the biological father. In January, Nasr City Misdemeanor Court of Appeals approved a challenge filed by Ezz against the defamation ruling, according to the Egypt Independent. He is still expected to pay for the twins’ support.
—Viraj Asher is an intern at Gulf News.