Sunday 12th October, 6.15pm – Rich Mix
Monday 13th October, 9pm – Curzon Soho
A nod to the surrealist feeling of Alice getting lost down the rabbit hole, Décor follows the psychological jaunts of young set designer Maha’s imagination. Ahmed Abdulla creates unnervingly relentless shifts between the real, the imagined and scenes from old Egyptian black and white movies that haunt her mind. Becoming totally disoriented as to what her reality is there is no choice but to empathise with the protagonist.
Maha (Hureya Faraghili), in love with her husband and working partner Sherif, is in charge of her own life; modern, focused and confident, she suddenly finds her self transported to another life and back again with no warning.
Convincing explanations for the ever-changing props, costume and of course décor of Maha’s life begin to lessen her grip on which way is up. The transfer from life with Sherif and alternative life as wife to Mostafa and mother to Haya, we are always left in some doubt of Maha’s sanity. The details in each of the apparently parallel scenarios are the inverse of each other, dichotomies representative of decisions she has made in her past.
The opening montage is quite beautiful, with composed shots of the film set studio at work as chandeliers are lifted into place and paint is slicked onto faux walls. The romantic music and luminosity of the black and white scenes throughout are evocative of and play homage to the glamour of 1940s and 50s cinema.
There is an artful layering to the entire film that can only really be appreciated once the final scene has ended. It seems as though the winding plot, which switches and inverts almost more times than is bearable, is about the power of the mind. Its kaleidoscopic nature is confusing to the degree that one must accept that there is no certain truth.
A lengthy piece at nearly three hours it demands constant concentration, but its conclusion is rewardingly open-ended.
Décor is released in the UK on 12th October 2014.
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