A choral structure in the style of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is too much to juggle for sophomore helmer Lara Saba's "Blind Intersections," in which three meller strands are largely bundled together by cliches.

A choral structure in the style of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is too much to juggle for sophomore helmer Lara Saba’s “Blind Intersections,” in which three meller strands are largely bundled together by cliches. Though it captures some of the elements making up the zeitgeist of Beirut, the pic suffers from uneven thesping, and has the subtlety of a car crash — literally, since the stories connect through a fatal accident. Regional smallscreen play will be the safest harbor for this unwieldy vehicle.

The three tales span the social classes. Teacher India (Carole Hajj, sporting quite the wardrobe) is happily married to businessman Malek (Charbel Ziade) but can’t get pregnant. Just-orphaned college student Nour (Ghida Nouri) struggles to survive financially while finishing her studies. Marwan (Alaa Hammoud), 12, is pimped out by his alkie hooker mom. Nour’s narrative is the least soapy or lurid, and therefore the strongest, but has difficulty holding its own. Incidental scenes grounding the action in Beirut offer genuine flavor, yet Saba seems hesitant to fully trust these moments; a shame, since they’re better than the dramatic sequences (a purse-snatching is especially poorly done). Tech credits are solid.

Blind Intersections

Lebanon-United Arab Emirates

Production

A Fathallah Films release of a Dream Box Prod., FFA Private Bank, Dubai Entertainment and Media Organization production, with the participation of Wakanda Films. (International sales: ZAD Communication, Cairo.) Produced by Nibal Arakji. Executive producer, Karim Arakji. Directed by Lara Saba. Screenplay, Nibal Arakji.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Michael Lagerwey; editor, Marwan Ziade; music, Raed El Khazen; production designer, Roland Ascheid; costume designer, Pascale Chnaiss; sound, Victor Bresse; line producer, Kassem Hatoum; assistant director, Bshara Atallah. Reviewed at Dubai Film Festival (Arabian Nights), Dec. 10, 2012. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Carole Hajj, Ghida Nouri, Chadi Haddad, Alaa Hammoud, Charbel Ziade, Leila Hakim.
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