O for Omar

 

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In times of political unrest, war and turmoil, can love, friendship and loyalty thrive and flourish or are treachery and deceit the only outcomes. Breaking all polemics is a story of three friends in the strife-ridden Palestine. Will trust wither or is there hope for everyone.

Today’s movie is the all Palestinian star cast Omar, a romance with many melodramatic moments but is essentially a thriller set amidst the stark reality of Israel – Palestine conflict. Directed by Hany Abu Asad and starring newcomers like Adam Bakri in the titular role of Omar.

The movie opens with Omar running over the wall that separates occupied Palestine from Israel. It looms like the evil, intimidating omnipotent and omnipresent object that not only separates Palestine from Israel in thought, ideology, religion, culture and animosity but also divides Palestinians from Palestinians. The Wall symbolizes not just the strife but also all that is withering within people.

Scaling the separation wall is as unexceptional in the life of the baker Omar, as his and other Palestinians being treated miserably by the Israeli soldiers. Dodging bullets, another very normal matter of fact event in the daily lives of Palestinians, Omar goes to meet his friends and the high school girl he is in love with. Though the young Omar can scale the walls in a few lithe actions the slightly older, out of practice Omar is unable to do so almost like is signifies that he is dejected and frustrated with the life he has.

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The three friends Amjad, Tarek and Omar are barely beyond twenties with dreams of a normal life, which includes killing an Israeli soldier. Swift with revenge, the Israeli’s get hold of Omar and he is strung up and savagely beaten. Agent Rami offers him a way out; get Tarek and gang or get tortured inhumanly.

Though Rami could easily have been depicted as the monster, but his humanity comes out when he talks to his wife or enquires about his boys. There are two aspects to it, either talking to family while a grueling torture session is only but normal in these abnormal times or he is like anyone else trying to do his job as best as he can while being a loving family man too.

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Omar is released by his tormentors and he heads back to where he belongs to his friends and his Nadja but the situation escalates leaving a trail of suspicion, deceit and betrayal. The essence of the tumultuous lives is captured well where people confront the bitter flavor of truth every second of the day. The film quickly progresses to a narrow and harrowing chase where each side exhibits questionable ideas.

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The ending takes one by shock but then we realize that the only way to hunt down a prey is to entice him to your own territory. During these unspeakable times where everything is breakable, does Omar remain loyal, I will not give away the ending to an almost John Le Carr kind thriller. Find a copy of Omar and experience the movie. It will shock you, make you cry but will entertain you thoroughly just as a thriller should.

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It is one of the rare movies that show us the Palestinian perspective and their everyday life will make our troubles look puny and laughable. Though Asad is not making any political commentary it is true of any section that is weak. The powerful will do everything in their might to break the weak and keep them voiceless.

Leaving you with the trailer of Omar

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