Samir works for a bank, provides for his ever-demanding family and dreams of being in an Egyptian talent show. When he’s unexpectedly fired, Samir finds himself recruited to be part of a secret society and finds a darker side to life in Egypt.
Samir is your average bank employee—he is middle-aged, overweight and quite content in his nightly dreams about appearing on Egypt’s top talent show. His wife is obsessed with her weight, his children are lost in their own technological worlds and the family dinners are so frequently takeaway pizza that the delivery place knows their exact order by heart. But when Samir gets fired by the bank because of a cost-saving initiative, he finds himself at a loss. Unable to tell anyone in his own family, he continues living out the pretense, fully aware that the chamber is closing in. However, one late night, the ringing doorbell signals for him the biggest chance of his life yet: Samir is about to join THE ORIGINALS and nothing will ever be the same again.
Dropping like the bastard child of Mario Bava, Nicolas Winding Refn and THE LIVES OF OTHERS, Marwin Hamed’s masterful exploration of modern day Egypt is rife with philosophy, mystery and unexpected comedy. Using long takes, unusual locations and incredible choices in music, Hamed creates an Egypt rarely seen in the West: modern and suffocating with deep ties to its history.
Drawing from exquisite performances by Maged El Kadweny as the hapless Samir and Khaled El Sawy as his mysterious recruiter, the mysterious world of THE ORIGINALS engulfs the viewer much as it does Samir. From modern supermarkets to bank offices, we slowly morph into mysterious bazaars, historical reenactments, strange boat rides and stories from the history of Egypt where the truth has become corrupted over many centuries of telling.
Although you might have seen films from Egypt before, there’s nothing out there comparable to THE ORIGINALS—don’t miss this first opportunity outside of its home country to catch this magnificent film on the big screen. (Evrim Ersoy)