Friday, March 16, 2012

Klefty (2004)

Klefty [swindler] (2004) - (Bassem Samra)

This is the somewhat scarce poster for Mohamed Khan's 2004 film Klefty [swindler]. The star Bassem Samra is shown with Rola Mahmoud, who plays the part of the woman who was his main love interest in the film. There are many things I really like about this film. Samra's character is an orphan who has been homeless and without family virtually his entire life in Cairo, which is a terrible place to be when that is your lot in life. No one in the film ever addresses him by name and he never introduces himself to anyone so we don't ever hear his name. We hear things like a shopkeeper telling someone "that boy is a swindler." The movie is an episodic, plotless narrative of a clever thief who has no real aims in life. The guy is a real charmer and most women seem to like him; at moments he looks like he wants be part of Rola's family. He seems genuinely upset when she gives up on him and accepts a proposal from someone else, but he takes that in stride like everything else in his roller coaster existence. The way Khan expertly stitches everything together and Samra's portrayal of the clever vagabond are wonderful. I don't have any information on what kind of release or popularity the film had, but I suspect it did not get as much attention as Khan's other films have gotten. The poster was designed by Kamal Abdel Aziz, who was later the cinematographer for Khan's 2005 film Downtown Girls starring Hind Sabry and Menna Shalaby.

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