I would like to think that I write from before the Internet became what it now is. Yet, there is no denying that this does make writing and reading easier.
This blog is a catalogue of my writings, for myself and those who would care enough. As I continue to post in various places over the net, this blog will become the central resource for the worthy pieces. It also gives me a platform to write without an excuse or as a response.
Comment if you want to, or just read away!
Locally produced, Zinzana
is an Emarati crime-thriller set in one location, a remote police
lock-up “somewhere in Arabia”. The movie is a cat-and-mouse game between
Talal, a prisoner, and Dabaan, a psychotic police officer. On either
side of the bars, one attempts to manipulate the other towards an end
that… doesn’t really fit.
Early on, while establishing the
characters, the movie reveals the absolute limits of the antagonist.
Anything that he does thereafter is neither an exploration nor reveal,
but an over-acted repetition of his outlandish behaviour – this, even
though the actor portraying Dabaan is Ali Suliman (Paradise Now, The Attack, and Best Actor winner at DIFF in 2011 for Last Friday), known for some terrific performances over the years. On the other hand, Saleh Bakri
under-performs as Talal. As a witness to a horrific crime, and then
faced with potential death, his despair is rarely seen. Even the
backstory he is saddled with rarely brings any real emotions out.
Unfortunately, the characters inhabit a script ridden with plot-holes
that make little sense when watching the film, and even less in
hindsight. At one point, Dabaan calls Talal’s ex-wife to the police
station, to identify Talal. Given the eventual end, not only this
doesn’t make sense, it goes completely against what Dabaan was
eventually aiming for. Blood stains disappear, smoke and stench are
ignored and plot-details are thrown in at will.
To its credit though, the movie features
great production values and some well-executed shots that deserve a
better film. The camera glides backwards through nooks, cracks and under
a truck. We get extreme close-ups and even the hand-held shaky-cam
drama shot. The movie truly looks good, and is the single biggest reason
that Zinzana keeps the attention of the audience. Somewhere lurking within Zinzana is a taut thriller, but count this as a lost opportunity for the lack of a few script rewrites. Therefore, even at 92 minutes Zinzana feels like a long film – the bearing of movies that fail in execution.