Last night I went to see the first full-length film made here in the UAE; it is called City of Life, is set in Dubai and was directed by a young (and not unattractive) man called Ali Mostafa (pictured below). I ran into him at an even earlier this year and was thrilled to find we have so much in common. For example, we’re both in the Ahlan Hot 100. Yes, one of the few advantages of being in the Ahlan Hot 100 is that you get to bother fellow hotties.
Anyway, the film is OK, really very good in parts. Although some of the dialogue is so trite it makes you squirm in your seat and the acting (especially by one of the female leads) reminded me of myself in the only play I was ever in at Durham where the critic wrote about my “purely decorative role”. At the time I was so stupid I took that as a compliment. Actually this particular ‘actress’ wasn’t even pretty enough to warrant that damning praise.
The three main characters are a rich Emirati, an East European air stewardess and an Indian taxi driver who dreams of being a Bollywoood star. Of all of them he is by far the most sympathetic and believable; I longed for him to make it. Funnily enough I thought it was the rich Emirati who was the one with least hope, despite his money and red Ferrari.
It was really interesting to see life here on the big screen and I hope there will be many more films as a result of this pioneering one. Although my friend Justine may disagree, she left halfway through. I obviously stayed on just in case the director pitched up….
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2010