Review: ‘My Soul Mate’

Glossy Egyptian sudser "My Soul Mate" risks overflowing the Nile with the cry time logged by puppy-eyed Hani Salama and femme lead Nelli Karim, playing leukemia patients who decide to fight their diagnoses of doom together. Subsequent romance, alas, displeases his anxious wife.

Glossy Egyptian sudser “My Soul Mate” risks overflowing the Nile with the cry time logged by puppy-eyed Hani Salama and femme lead Nelli Karim, playing leukemia patients who decide to fight their diagnoses of doom together. Subsequent romance, alas, displeases his anxious wife. Attractive leads, plush settings, dance numbers and much emotional heavy lifting make this borderline-silly but commercial item apt for ancillary export to expat communities.

Unlucky in love, prima ballerina Shams (Karim) has only her career to live for, choosing to risk onstage collapse rather than undergo onerous treatment. Architect Youssef (Salama), newly informed of his own possibly-terminal illness, decides it’s best to leave his wife Hind (Minna Shalabi) and young son in the dark while he goes to Cairo on a “business trip” and simply dies. Sharing a doctor (Hisham Salim), Shams persuades him to do chemo alongside her. When Hind gets wise, doc instructs her to lay aside jealousy for “two sick persons whose survival depends on being with each other.” Mohamed Refaat’s script is hokey and unconvincing, but Khaled Youssef’s well-mounted production manages to maintain a straight face.

My Soul Mate

Egypt

Production

An Egyptian Media Production City presentation of an MISR Intl. Films production. Produced by Youssef Shakim. Executive producer, Gabriel Khoury. Directed by Klaled Youssef. Screenplay, Mohamed Refaat.

Crew

Camera (color), Samir Bahzan; editor, Rabab Abdel Latif; music, Yehia El Mougy, Akram Morad; production designer, Hamed Hemdan. Reviewed at San Francisco Arab Film Festival, Sept. 27, 2005. Running time: 120 MIN.

With

Hani Salama, Nelli Karim, Minna Shalabi, Hisham Salim, Abdel Rahman Abou Zahra, Raga El Geddaoui, Ahmad Khamees, Mohamed Rageb.
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