This morning I streamed the movie Cairo Time on Netflix. It did get some great reviews from other people who watched it, but I was disappointed in it. This movie is very slow-moving, but I really don’t mind that if the story is interesting. I did find the storyline interesting but it was not translated to the film in a very successful way. The two lead characters are played by Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddiq. Clarkson plays Juliette, the wife of a United Nation official working in Gaza. Juliette travels to Egypt to spend her vacation with her husband. Siddiq play and Egyptian named Tareq who is also a friend of Juliette’s husband. Tareq is asked to watch over Juliette by her husband because he is still in Gaza and delayed from joining his wife in Cairo. According to the plot Tareq and Juliette unexpectedly fall in love.
I did not see or feel an ounce of chemistry between the two main characters. I thought it would come later in the movie but it didn’t. The two actors played their parts very well, but the building chemistry was missing that was supposed to make this movie a romance. Tareq is a good-looking man and Juliette is an attractive woman but chemistry was missing between them.
Juliette had been married to her husband for a long time. They had two grown children and she is a magazine editor of a Canadian magazine, yet she came of as a woman out of sorts and who has never been outside of her country. That is kind of hard to believe considering her husband made a career in the United Nations and working outside of Canada. It also seemed as if Juliette came to Egypt without doing any research on the country and its customs. In one scene she walks into a business that is clearly for men only, yet she is clueless and has no idea why all the men are staring at her.
I can understand why Juliette and Tareq come to care so much for each other after spending so much time together, but I still was not convinced of a romance because of the lack of chemistry between the two actors. I love the respect that each had for one another. They were bonding in a totally different way.
During the last ten minutes of the movie Juliette’s husband finally arrives in Cairo from Gaza. He is waiting in the lobby of the hotel and Juliette comes strolling in with Tareq. Juliette and Tareq are caught off guard. Juliette manages to smile and welcome her husband. Tareq is left staring after them.
The movie was also like a travelogue. It was filmed on location in Cairo and I found that aspect of the film very interesting. The pyramids were very much a part of the cinematography.
Cairo Time came out in 2009 to very good reviews. I did not fall in love with it even though I wanted to.