Within the past week I have been hearing some raving reviews about the recently released film titled:”Film Ktir Kbir”, or in English “A Very Big Shot”. Lebanese cinema, after Nadine Labaki’s Caramel, and Where Do We Go Now, has blossomed into cinema with gorgeous art direction, settings and coloring, despite the depiction of some harsh truths. Directors and specifically Lebanese directors have the tendency to show us a pretty polished picture of a beautiful Lebanon, and then slam us with stories that do not coincide with the beautiful indie bohemian settings that these directors try to create for their films. Lebanon is so far from these pretty polished sets, no matter what the content of these films entails, the visuals are not real, they are not earnest, they are colored, they are polished, they are decorated with props and flowers, with brilliant lights, music, and visuals, they make you feel things, but things that the script allows you to feel, and not the imagery.
To my shock, to my surprise, this very big film is indeed one of Lebanon’s greatest films ever made. Why? What Lebanese directors try to portray with beautiful images and a crappy scripts, this film showcased with a real, earnest, and unpolished depiction of truth. Never in Lebanese cinematic history, has something so visually simple, made so much sense, and was so evenly related to the bitter truths people in Lebanon encounter.
The opening scene of the film is as smart as it is moving; fixating the viewer onto a compelling story, charged with purpose, and truth. As the plot of the film progresses so does the intensity of emotions one encounters. This film speaks to the Lebanese community in a simple and beautiful language.
Alain Saadeh gave a memorable performance, sparking humor and outrage at once. Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya’s latest film is truly a must see. We are so happy to have seen a Lebanese production with such simplicity and closeness to actual Lebanese street culture, not in terms of violence, but in terms of humor, laughter, and wit.