Fifth about The Seventh

The Chord (El Watar)

The Chord: this murder mystery put together by Magdy El Hawary is competently made: the story is intriguing, as are the characters, and the film sets its ambivalent mood just right. Nothing is too novel, but the classic elements (a detective with a traumatic past, a troubled victim, a pair of femme fatale and a romantic ingénue of sorts) are well used. The casting is actually on point, but the performances are a bit iffy: Mostafa Shaaban, as the dogged detective with a past, alternates between being hammy and inexpressive; Ghadah Adel, as the violinist femme fatale, is just hammy all the way. The cinematography (by Amr Farouk and Mazen Al Motagawel) has some issues, but it generally sets the mood well; the lighting is very expressive. Editing, by Ghada Ezz El Din, navigates well the emotional releases of the story, and makes great use of illustrations (which are gorgeous in their own right) as it makes big cuts.

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