Directed by Fahad Alammari, and with a runtime of about 2 hours, Alkhallat+ offers 4 stories about people deceiving others and getting deceived themselves as well. However, not all four give the same level of dark humor or viewing satisfaction. The two standout stories were the 1st and 3rd ones. The first story about the stolen tires was immediately engaging as we see a frazzled Turkey struggling to light a cigarette amid his boisterous household. His desire to smoke in peace ultimately ends in him smoking outside beside the family car.
There he finds himself face-to-face with the man (Faisal), who is stealing the tires of his car. Hence begins a chase, a catch, and a hilarious exchange of words at a wedding party. The scene stealer of this story and the whole movie as well was Yehia, Faisal's tire-thief friend and business partner. He pretends to be Faisal's lawyer and tries to weasel his friend out from underneath the nose of his captors. In another scene, when Yehia argues with Faisal while demanding that he apologize to him before he frees him is also a comedic goldmine. Basically, give all the awards to Yehia.
The third story focuses on Fahd's wife. This one isn't a comedy. It's instead a mystery because, after Fahd's death, his friend, who was also in the crash, tries to get his deceased friend's phone for a task. Fahd's widow figures out that something fishy is going on and tries to get the phone for herself. What is the secret that Fahd's friend is after, and who will unlock it first? That forms the central conflict. It's a simple story that's written brilliantly. The cat-and-mouse chase between Fahd's widow and friend is perfectly portrayed as well.
The second and fourth stories are about Sara's parents and a strict father named Khaled respectively. Both shorts lacked a punch, especially when compared to the other two tales. The second story about Sara trying to get her parents to reconcile felt too melodramatic. Also, the humor involving the couple's bickering didn't quite land because we have seen such scenes before. The last tale of the film felt like a slight commentary on the Asian parenting style with the father nagging his son and trying to discipline him. But it offered nothing new. Instead, it felt flat and overdone.
However, there's an entertaining hide-and-seek game that the father and son play because the former figures out that his child is inside a club. But ultimately, it didn't hook me like the first and third stories. However, this doesn't mean that the second and fourth short tales are not worth watching. Technically, I appreciated that the director smartly transitioned from one short to the other using deaths and accidents. The only story that didn't use this was the first one, and that truly felt like a standalone story. The rest felt like stories taking place in the same city on the same night. Overall, give Alkhallat+ a watch if you are craving comedy in the unlikeliest places.
Final Score – [7/10]
Reviewed by - Ishita Chatterjee
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Publisher at Midgard Times
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