‘Halal Love’ (‘Bil Halal’): Dubai Review

A humorous demeanour during love, sex and matrimony in a despotic Muslim world.

An interesting fragrance of stories about unfortunate lovers are interwoven in a Lebanese comedy Halal Love (Bil Halal), with a impediment turn that they all revolve around a contradictions of perplexing to follow normal Islamic law. Their humor, and infrequently melancholy, arise from a problem doing what is “halal” or permissible, while avoiding what is “haram” or prohibited. Suffice it to contend that perplexing to get one’s adore life together underneath sharia law is no picnic, generally for a women who are a film’s executive characters and victims.

Writer-director Assad Fouladkar, whose award-winning initial underline When Maryam Spoke Out drew vicious applause, brings a lighter hold to a screenplay that feels daring, even when it borders extended radio farce. With Sundance and Rotterdam outings scheduled after a Dubai premiere, a German-Lebanese coprod, expelled by Films Distribution, should bother oddity as it rises some veils on a thesis underneath discussion.

The strife between eremite strictures and a proceed typical people hide around them has fueled many a sex comedy, from The Canterbury Tales to Divorce, Italian Style. In Pietro Germi’s classical film, shot when divorce was bootleg in Catholic Italy, a father can find no improved proceed to pierce on with his adore life than to murder his untimely wife, while nominally respecting a Church’s laws opposite divorce. A likewise arch proceed can be found in this farcical demeanour during Muslim mores per adore and sex. Funny (but not as excitable as a blustering opening stage leads one to hope), socially relevant, on-going though clever not to be too grating, it casts a net far-reaching and should constraint sizeable audiences in those Arab countries that concede it to be shown.

In a howlingly humorous opener, a clergyman explains how babies are finished to a classroom of tiny kids. She’s so ambiguous that one small lady becomes paranoid of worms, fearing they will make her pregnant. The wisecrack is drawn out over several scenes with good success.

The girl’s determined mom is on a verge of a shaken relapse traffic with her hubby’s robust sex drive. The solution, she feels, is to find him a second mom who can soothe her of some marital duties, while doubling as a babysitter and housemaid. She carries this absurd thought off with assured flair, quite after she locates a kooky spinster “Bardot” as a intensity claimant for a job.

When Maryam Spoke Out took a critical demeanour during a repairs finished to a immature matrimony by amicable vigour for a bride to get pregnant, and here a newlywed thesis earnings in a tragi-comic pivotal in a story of a integrate who are really many in love. But a immature father is so pathologically sceptical that he ends adult “divorcing” his mom any night in a mad evidence on a stairs, while their neighbors arrange to watch a show. Since a husband’s intent, conspicuous in public, is all that is indispensable to cut a knot, they have to remarry any time he cools down. But after 3 times, Muslim law prescribes that a lady has to marry someone else before she can re-wed her initial husband. And a mid-term matrimony has to be consummated. It will take many viewers time to hang their heads around this weird idea, that everybody in a film accepts as totally normal. Except for one impression who rebels, divulgence a moment in social-religious consensus.

This is also loyal for a rather lifeless story involving proxy marriage, a account device used in several new Iranian films. The thought is that a integrate can legally agreement a right to have sex together in a available “marriage” that expires during a bound time. A lovely, artistic lady has mislaid her repute by divorcing a father her mom chose and she detested. But now that she’s singular again, it’s slight for her to lift on an event with her anticipation lover, a married greengrocer named Abdullah, by personification a proxy matrimony card. The part limps along like TV comedy, never pulling a conditions distant adequate into stupidity to strike a mark, and a introduction of a happy hermit in Australia creates it seem improbably p.c. 

 

Production companies: Razor Film Produktion, Sabbah Media

Cast:  Darine Hamze, Rodrigue Sleiman, Mirna Moukarzel, Zeinab Hind Khadra, Hussein Mokaddem, Ali Sammoury, Fadia Abi Chahine

Director, screenwriter: Assad Fouladkar

Producers: Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul, Sadek Sabbah

Executive producer: Lama Sabbah

Director of photography: Lutz Reitemeier

Production designers: Tania Arit, Maia Khoury

Costume designer: Claudia Torsiello

Editor: Nadia Ben Rachid

Music: Amine Bouhafa

Venue: Dubai Film Festival (Arabian Nights Gala)

Sales: Films Distribution  

In Arabic

94 minutes

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