The Last Friday
EXEC PROD George David, Mohannad Al Bakri
PROD Rula Nasser, Majd Hijawi, Yahya Alabdallah
SCR Yahya Alabdallah
CAM Rachel Aoun
ED Mohammad A. Sulieman
PROD DES Samir Zaidan
MUS Le Trio Jubran
PROD CO Royal Film Commission of Jordan / Me Films / the Imaginarium / Dubai Entertainment and Media Organization
The absurdities and complexities of life in contemporary Amman are presented with understated humour in this wittily stylized drama about a divorced, downwardly mobile taxi driver trying to gather the funds for essential surgery. Making inspired use of his tiny production budget, debuting writer-director Yahya Alabdallah establishes a singular tone that is both pensive and gently comic.
Forty-year-old Youssef (Ali Suliman, Paradise Now, Lemon Tree) lives alone in a shabby apartment in the capital’s scenic Al Webdeh neighbourhood. His present life consists of small indignities that he accepts with a weary grace. He used to be a top salesman at a luxury car dealership, but his poker habit led to the loss of his money, his house and divorce from the beautiful Dalal (Yasmine Al Masri). Now his finances are so precarious that he resorts to stealing his neighbour’s electricity. And his situation is even more critical because he needs to prepay the hospital. But in the meantime, problems with his tween son precipitate a showdown with Dalal.
Director Alabdallah stages the film’s action with a carefully composed mise-en-scène, allowing small details to speak louder than words. The fact that everyone around Youssef has a cell phone, something he can no longer afford, plays to comic effect. The sparse dialogue also emphasizes the film’s complex soundtrack.