For those not making the trip to Little Rock for the game this weekend, this Netflix guide has you covered. This week I talk about two very different films: a powerful documentary about the Egyptian revolution and a cheesy romantic comedy.
“The Square” is a 2013 documentary from Netflix and the streaming platform’s first original film to be nominated for an Oscar. It provides up-close-and-personal coverage of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and the overthrow of the long, unproductive and unfair reign of President Hosni Mubarak.
Filmmaker Jehane Noujaim captures the story from many different angles by following six different protestors: Khalid Abdalla, a movie star; Magdy Ashour, a Muslim Brotherhood member; Ahmed Hassan, a prominent activist; Ramy Essam, a singer-songwriter; Aida El-Kashef, a filmmaker; and Ragia Omran, a human rights lawyer.
The film begins at the onset of the revolution, and it runs well past the end of it. Egypt was not stable after the fall of the regime, so the documentary also follows the main consequence of the revolution: the power vacuum left behind. Conflict between groups who protested the same government, the Mubarak regime, occurred quickly, so things did not straighten out soon as protestors had hoped.
The movie provides a very accurate depiction of what was actually happening on the ground, as opposed to what was covered by the media. So much so, in fact, that a significant amount of the dialogue is in Arabic, but you shouldn’t shy away because of a language barrier. Viewers get to witness beautiful scenes where protesters sing in unison and hope fills their hearts and their minds.
The horrific brutality of the regime is also revealed. The movie is chock-full of brutality and torture by authorities. The highs provide immense hope and the lows are truly disheartening in this exposing film. I consider this movie a “must-watch.”
“She’s Out of My League”
“She’s Out of My League” is a 2010 romantic comedy that was added to Netflix on Oct. 1. It follows Kirk (Jay Baruchel), an awkward and wimpy TSA agent lacking confidence and direction in his romantic life.
He meets Molly (Alice Eve), a beautiful and successful woman whom he believes he has no chance with, as she goes through TSA Security, and they, surprisingly, hit it off. Because she forgets her phone in security, he is given an opportunity to get to know her better.
However, his friends say he does not have a chance because he is “only a five and she is a ten” on the scale of attractiveness, and “you can only jump up two points – max.”
However, luck stays on Kirk’s side. Molly decides that she is tired of getting her heart broken by the same kind of guy, so she gives Kirk a chance. It is apparent that Kirk and Molly are an unlikely couple, but they somehow make it work in spite of confidence issues and disbelief by friends and family alike.
I would describe the movie as corny and cringy at times, while certainly having more serious moments as well. It deserves a shot if you enjoy cheap comedies, but if you are more critical or enjoy more serious movies may want to stay away. I am deeming this film as a “toss-up” because viewers will be split on this movie.