Friday, March 9, 2012

Taxi Ballad - تاكسي البلد

Trailer for Taxi Ballad

Recently released widely in Lebanese Theaters, Taxi Ballad is a first attempt for Daniel Joseph to direct feature films. The movie is about an "underachieving" Lebanese Taxi driver's ambitions with a remarkably good level in English(?). The debut of the movie is little disappointing with a curious decision to reveal the movie title solely in Latin script, while completely discarding Arabic. The same remark holds for the credits in the end. Another disappointing decision is to screen the movie with French subtitles. Such absurd decision can be only seen as if the distributors think that the Lebanese language cannot be understood by Lebanese audience! (see also Where do we go now? who managed to rectify later this problem is some theaters)
The film is overly nice keeping in mind that this is first long feature for the director, with hope that he will learn from this experience to give us in the future even better movies. Most nature scenes are beautifully colored, but some elements are felt missing every time, making it little credible in faithfully presenting the Lebanese life. The storyline can be enjoyable, but its structure could've been better built. We should note that most actors played their role naturally, most notably the honorable presence of Mahmoud Mabsout (Fahman) who died recently and whose role was inspired from a previous character in Beirut After Shave.
Most audience would enjoy the movie, and are encouraged to watch it in order to support the Lebanese movie productions in the future.

Parenthesis: I couldn't help noticing this currently growing trend where foreign actors costarring the Lebanese movie. I suspect that the reason might be the foreign funding, but this could not be the only one. (e.g. Beirut Hotel, Where do we go now?Taxi Ballad, Une Chanson dans la tête﴿

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