Starring: Andrea Riseborough as Hana,Michael Landes as Carl
Directed by: Zeina Durra
No power on earth would convince me that this film, a skimpy love story woven in and around the city of Luxor, is not commissioned by Egypt to promote tourism. Just as no one can tell me that Marlon Brando forced himself on his costar in Last Tango In Paris because …well…Paris does things to one’s hormones.
Luxor feels like a tourist brochure promoting Luxor bookended by two characters who can never meet. The camera cares little for the fact that the two protagonists Hana and Carl have met after 20 years and love, passion, sex and other memory-triggers are rekindled albeit in bouts of flickering fade-outs.
Cinematographer Zelmira Gainza seems the least interested in the two actors, and I can’t blame her. Neither of the two actors Andrea Riseborough nor Michael Landes seems destined for an Oscar , although the former has been praised to the heavens with critics finding her(and the film) mesmerizing, spellbinding,etc.
Pardon my saying so.But Luxor seems to take us for a ride. A ride through Luxor with the love story scarcely getting a chance to be told as the location completely overwhelms the characters .Since I am not much into relics and ruins, Luxor left me stone-cold. The love story in the plot be damned, audiences would not be tempted to visit Luxor, let alone stay at the hotel that Hana occupies during her brief—alas, not brief enough—stay in a city rich in history and heritage but apparently a very poor location for love to blossom.
At one stage of the storytelling Hana gets drunk at the bar of her hotel and starts funny-dancing . No one, not even Carl, seems interested. That sequence, illogically positioned as it is between re-acquaintanceship and intercourse, defines what we feel while watching the film. At the end of it , I cared neither for the lovers nor the city where their love comes to life in a deathly inert narrative fish-bowl .