Egyptian Chronicles: King Farouk's TV series

Sunday, October 21, 2007

King Farouk's TV series

I think that I did not speak about that successful TV Series except when it Tim Hassan and Wafaa Amar was announced that a Syrian was going to act the role of King Farouk , other than that the discussion about the TV series was in my Arabic blog , yet I believe with all the noise the TV Series created in the Egyptian street I should speak about it here

I will speak first about the TV series from an Artistic point view , I will not speak about the historical and political point views now because they need time and already I got a bad flu.

With no argument that TV series was from the best Arabic TV series presented on the screen in this Ramadan and in historical drama over all , here I am using the word Arabic because it is not considered an Egyptian TV series , it is produced by Saudis "MBC Channel" , the director is Syrian "Hatem Ali" , the leading actor is Syrian "Tim Hassan" and the Music is by Lebanese "sorry I can't remember his name".

This TV series is well made no one can deny the story and script of Dr.Lamis Gabr are impressive "I am not going to involve in historical debate yet"

The decorations were excellent taking in consideration that the Egyptian Presidency refused to let the crew of the TV series to film in the Royal Palaces which became Presidential palaces for security reasons as the Make up crew of the TV series is Iranian ,already of course "Hatem Ali" is so mad and attacking indirectly the officials in Egypt despite the fact , the important fact he can't open his mouth in his own country in Syria when it comes to the national security and presidency , already I did not feel any problem with the settings or decorations , yes it would be much better if it were shot in the original settings of the Presidential Palaces but before "Ali" goes angry and gives the Syrian press an opportunity to jump in the wagon and start attacking the Egyptians' red tape ,he should first have paid attention to the customs and clothes in the TV Series

The huge terrible mistake, I do not think that the art director or the fashion designer or even the director himself bothered to read or even see any picture regarding the customs of that period from the 1920s to early 1950s whether internationally or locally ,in fact they did not even bother to present the decorations of orders as it should be ,the Three stars and crescent decoration "Tim Hassan" as King Farouk wore in his suite was badly made and that's just the beginning

The Royal Queens and Princesses clothes whether in day or night look like as if they were in the Victorian era not in 1940s !! Despite all the photos online and off line in the books are available to anyone

Of course this nothing compared to the big disaster represented in the clothes of the commoners "the ignored part in the TV Series" I can't believe that in 1940s Egyptian ladies wore like in 1919 !!!!

I can't stop thinking that these small mistakes could have been avoided if the famous director "Anam Mohamed Ali" ,the director of "Om Khalthoum" and "Kasem Amin" were the director of "King Farouk"

The acting was the big surprise here and I am not speaking about "Tim Hassan" 's performance which is a real fine one , do not forget that was his first performance in Egyptian accent and I guess it is also his first leading role , all his previous roles "mostly with Ali" he was not the leading actor even in "Nizar Qabbani" whom he only represented the famous poet in the youth era ,still "Hassan" I felt that he always fall in the nervous scenes when he screams and shouts , here I feel he can't control it and that he is just pretending , also the last three episode where he presented Farouk in his last years as fat and bald man he was not in his best times in the TV series , may be the make up and the custom he wore to make him fat made it hard for him to act naturally as in the early episodes , not every actor is gifted by Eddy Murphy's talent

The big surprise in the TV series was not "Tim" but the other supporting leading actors whom I think stole the light from him in their scenes together

1- "Ezzat Abou O'of" , one of the most famous supporting actors in Ezzat Abou O'of Egypt , he presented the role Ahmed Hassanein Pasha in a way like no other , seriously I felt that Abou O'of wore the character as a glove

2-" Wafaa Amar", I will confess that when they announced her name to present Queen Nazli on screen I had the feeling the TV Series would be a big failure , after Wafaa Amar was associated with third degree seduction role , yet she was more than great here , a very mature actress , seriously it was the role of her life time

3-"Salah Abd- Allah" , here is another surprise ,because when "Abd Salah Abd Abd Allah Allah" the famous comedian actor presents the character of "Mustafa El-Nahas" in that wonderful way , already many attacked "Abd Allah" for his way of acting the role , they believed that "Abd Allah" made "El-Nahas" look like a comedian , well believe or not that was the real style of the great leader, my grand mother 's best friend's family was a close to him and as a young girl she met him several time and that was his style and way of talking and dealing with people

4- "Nabil El-Halfawy", in the role of "Ali Maher" ,"El-Halfawy" is a great actor and it is not a surprise that he would represent this character in that wonderful way

What else ,well there are other actors who did their roles wonderfully but on the other hand there are some actors who were not that good above them "Menna Fadly" who acted the role of "Queen Farida" , I do not know if she is a bad actress or the role was written badly , already I felt that "Dr.Lamis " was unfair to the popular "Queen Farida " presenting her as some sort of nervous sad dull wife for the merry "Farouk" !!!

The music was so bad , seriously I do not know why they ignored some one like "Amar El-Shara'ai" or "Omar Khairat" to compose the Music !!

Over all the TV series was excellent ,it is highly recommended to be watched , you can watch it here on Jump TV

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  1. if I get a penny for every time I read a post or article which can be summed up as i-love-Syrians-but-Egyptians-are better, I could have bought me a one week vacation to Egypt.

    the recent Syrian-Egyptian collaborations uncovered a troubling jingoism of a minority of Egyptian elite who just could not stomach the fact another Arab country can outdo them sometimes on the cultural front. these attacks stands in stark contrast with the welcoming tone of the overwhelming majority of Egyptians.

    To those chest-beating, ultra nationalist Egyptians I say Deal with it.

    instead of attacking Syria and Syrian artists, try to improve yourselves.

  2. Well Othman you are mostly welcome in Egypt but why do you think I am from that elite ??
    already my dear that's an Egyptian topic about a very Egyptian personality presented in Arabic TV Series ,and I think I got the right more than any Arab to comment about it and here my criticism is based upon artistic views
    and I do not think that I lied when I said Hatem Ali can't criticize the Syrian Presidency like he did with the Egyptian presidency when they refused to let him shot in the presidential palaces for security reasons
    and when I mentioned the names of Anam Mohamed Ali and Amar El-Shar'i ,I did not mean that we are more superior than the Syrians ,I am speaking here about mistakes in the work ,and I guess everyone does mistakes
    your artists are not above mistakes ,are not they !!??

  3. Al-Haja Ibn Youssef Al-Thak'fy10/21/2007 04:00:00 PM

    Exellent review Zeinobia.
    I watched an episode from the show. The make up was terrible, actors looked like some baroque Manequines- degenrate and cheap. I doubt that Egyptians royalities used to look the clowns those Iranians have in their medivalcountry

  4. zinobia, Egyptian actors acted roles for non-Egyptians for decades and no one criticized it. how many historical films and soap operas were produced over the years with historical Arab figures speaking in egyptian accent. there was not even an effort at times to speak proper Arabic. still, we enjoyed the films and the soap operas. BTW, Farouq is not even Egyptian or Arab.

  5. Al-Hajaj Ibn Yousssef Al- Thak'fy10/21/2007 07:33:00 PM


    you are totally wrong! Syrians and other Arab actors are very welcome, Egypt is the captial of the Arab world. We are all Arabs and we have been like this for thousands of years

    And Farouk was 100 Egyptian. Anyone who drinks from the Nile, lives In Egypt and speaks Arabic is an Egyptian Arab.

    We all have to remeber that It was Farouk that formed the Arabs league in 1945- It was Farouk that defended the Arabs in 1948.

    Ibrahim basha the son of Mohamed Ali took his 100% Egyptian army unified the Arab world and humilated the Turks.

    During his conquests against the ottoman Turks, one asked him, where should we stop??

    The answer of Ibrahim was: till the last spot where Arabs live.

    Many consider this statement as ushering of the the very first beginings of Arab nationalism in its modern form.

    He has a very famous saying: Once I have to come to Egypt as a younfg boy the Arab son scrouched my head, and I have become the " son of Arabs" Ibn 3arab"

    I doubt that she is a non Arab Iranian who is trying to dig a wedge in the Arab world in favour of the Iranians and Israelians whose ultimate strategic goal in this region is to de-arabise it.

    Also to Rana- Egyptian accent is is the most grammetically correct Arab accent acording to the "immortals institute"

    The only objection we have is about the particpation of Iranians in an art work about a historical Arab figure.

    As we see the result was downgrading the Egyptian royal familly with some cheap vulgur make-up that made them look like some drag queen strolling the streets of San Fransisco. Still I on't blame them - there is one hell of a difference bertween Egyptian and Arab culture and arts and the Iran's

  6. @Rana, the Syrians are mostly welcome in Egypt , please read my post carefully and you will no know that I have nothing against the Syrian actors there are over my head , and I like Tim so much in the role of Farouk ,and I guess I was fair to him
    about Farouk was much more Arab than Abd El-Halim Khaddam, Mustafa Talas and Rafaat El-Asad

    @Hajaj to tell the truth the make up was not bad Wafaa Amar's make up was wonderful , but the problem is in the costumes !!

  7. hmm i am somehow disappointed here since you didn't comment on some of the historical fallacies of the work :S
    or the way it ended ?! why was the choice artistic this time ?
    personally i didn't watch it but from what i could keep up with it seemed like they did a great job garnering the sympathy of the audience in support of the king. or is it the fact that looking at the current atmosphere makes ppl a bit nostalgic about those days ... not sure myself whats the appeal

    hajjaj demeanor and ideas sound way too familiar ?!
    could it be that trolly has dropped his given name and adopted a new one ?

  8. @No_angel ,just wait for the historical view ,in fact I said that in the post that I would start first with the artistic view ,because it is much shorter and easier , wait for the historical view , just wait
    about Hajjaj ,I have the same suspicions too lol :)

  9. Dear Zeinobia,
    I admire your review as it sheds close light on the artistic side within the series. To say the truth, i haven't watched it yet but u gave me a glimpse through your insightful comment. Of course it would be great if you resume your review on the political and historical backgrounds with your interesting style!!N.B thanks for the link of the series i think i will have a look at some of the scenes to fully understand your criticism.

  10. are we surprised it's the Saudi royals who are paying for the Farouq series. they are behind the most backward cultural movements in the arab world. add to that their sickening tolerance, if not endorsement, of imperialism and colonialism and their appetite for fueling sectarian hatreds between muslims shia and sunni. money in the wrong hands can cause all sorts of serious damage.

  11. Al Hajaj Ibn Youssef Al-Thak'fy10/22/2007 04:42:00 PM

    Omar wrong.

    the ones who are fuleiing sectarian tensions is Iran and no ne but Iran.

    This whole shit of Sunni shiite thing is basically an Iranian rhetoric put forward by the terrorist Khomeini to destabilise the Arab world.

    Once Iran get out of Iraq and stop interfering in the Arab world. There will be no sectarian tensions.

    P.S muslms are not one thing. For example mexicans and British are both christian!

    Iran has to live with the fact that it is not wanted in this region. Sadam hussien burned them alive in 1988 and kept them in their holes like rats.

    Arabs will do the same agian if they dont pull a brake on their grudges and get out of Iraq

  12. n. american princess10/23/2007 03:23:00 AM

    no angel and zeinobia...when u said that al hajjaj is a trolly has adopted a new name...reading his posts here...please tell me i isn't that amre al abyad guy who is so infatuated with the Persians?


  13. Hajjaj, i am no shiite, i am no islamist. but if i have to choose between giving up arab land and oil to either the genocidal anglo-zionists or to a muslim country like iran that will put a stop to imperialism and colonialism and all the philandering and treason that takes place in the gulf (how many american military bases and israeli missions?) then I won't stand in their way.

  14. yes you can def. sigh...
    though i personally find "it" amusing

  15. @Sondos,thanks dear ,I will insh Allah continue the series as much as I can :)

    @Omar why do you think the TV series is calling for sectorian devision and backward culture !!??

    @Al-Hajjaj or whom I think he is please give me break from Iran !!?? already I know that your favorite part in the TV series was what Farouk did to the Iranian entourage in Cairo !!

    @N.American, yes dear I think so

    @ anonymous ,this is so dangerous , why you do have choose between those two choices ,what about a third choice no invasion from any country what so ever !!??

  16. Al-Hajaj Ibn Youssef Al-Thak'fy10/23/2007 04:45:00 PM


    Sadam hussein said it- Persians and Locust are usless creatures.

    You were burned in 1988 in el fao- and the freak Khomeini was forced to sip poison.

    Iam sure it will happen again

  17. Al-Hajaj Ibn Youssef Al-Thak'fy10/23/2007 05:00:00 PM


    Hadn't it been for the Iranian death squads that are commiting the most horrendous drilling and ethnic cleansing crimes and the Iranian active particpation in the invasion in the very first place.

    And that is not denied by Iranians themselves- just roll back and run over the statements of Khatemy- or Najad's

    ASecondly I have gotnothing to do with that El-Abyad guy.

    Very soon I will make my own blog with my perconal photo and details. So please do me the honourMiss Zeinobia and be my first guest

  18. Al-Hajaj Ibn Youssef Al-Thak'fy10/23/2007 05:03:00 PM

    It is in Iran's best interest to did and weaken Iraq, otherwise . Iran will remain locked out of the middle east for good!

    it is Iran that making life possible for Americans. Hadnt it been for killing squads, all the Iraqi efforts would have been focused on the inernational occupiers

  19. @Hajjaj insh allah I will visit your blog , but please let's be focused here

    @ Amr ,I am sorry but I will delete your comment not N.American because you do not have any right what so ever to insult her in my blog like this ,you do not have any rights what so ever

  20. Amre, you are real sick rude person and you are not welcomed anymore here again

  21. King Farouk is no.1 really & the music was great. really iam happy that finaly king Farouk have appear again with agood look not like the history. i know he have bad things but also he have good thing we have to be fair

  22. @Sofia , I agree with what you said except about the music thing , it is not the best for sure

  23. manar filisteen7/06/2008 02:06:00 AM

    King Farook, if he was to be compared with other kings and country leaders at that time would be seriously a saint, he wasnt a bad king, but in the end he did mess things up. and the tv show was too sentimental towards him. i am a Nasserist, and i know for a fact that the Saudi tv channel mbc aired the show the way it did patronizing King Farouk and making him as a victim like it did just to devalidate the revoulotion..... ma 2aal ils3ood b7awlo mn awal ma til3at ilthawra mn awal ma tili3 3bd ilnaser allahyer7amo inhm yshawhoo surto... ba3dein in 1948, werent the weapons that they were distributing to the soldiers to go fight in Palestine faulty? anyways one does have to be fair... king farouk was perhaps decieved by those around him, but he and his whole government werent doing much for the benifit of egypt. anyways, allahyer7am iljamee3 o gr8 blog o btw il about me ta3tik .... sista, u aint the only girl living in the present with the glories of the past and hopes for a better future for her nation and people. klna bl hawa sawa.... salamz!

  24. @Dear Manar , I disagree with you , I mean look how the MBC is marketing the Turkish TV Drama over the expense of the Arabic Arab , is this against the Revolution and Nasser !!
    By the way Manar from Two years ago MBC produced Halim TV Series where with no excuse inserted Nasser and his life since 1948 to Halim's life , why no one spoke about it !!??
    About the faulty weapons , It was a lie and FYI there was a committee after the revolution that investigated the matter and turned to be lie
    in fact the faulty weapons were in the Yemen war according to the testimonies of this war veterans , of course no speaks about it
    Manar , no one is comparing Nasser with Farouk , the TV series did not come from near or far to this
    let's put it in its right context no more no less

  25. franchement cette série est parmi les meilleures séries que j'ai regardée durant ma vie, j'aime bien encouragé les réalisateurs syriens nottament les acteurs et les actrices je vous souhaite toute la bénediction et je vous dédie depuis votre deuxieme pays le maroc toute la consideration vous etes les t'aime bien tim hassane. ton fun zineb

  26. Il est vrai, il est l'une des meilleures Séries TV en dépit de son ridicule mistakes.Je suis heureux que ce succès rencontré au Maroc:)

  27. manar filisteen elabed8/21/2009 02:57:00 AM

    i dnt noe if u remeamber this, bas abt 7 years ago there was a mexican show phase when everyone was going gaga at shows like rosalinda wa ma shabah,,, wuts going on with the turkish shows is the same thing... fatra o bet3adi.... hopefully.
    as for the haleem show,,, dnt forget that those decades in the past century were all abt Jamal Abd Alnasser, and nth abt that time could be brought up without his mentioning,,,,
    b nesbe la the investigation on the faulty weapons in the yemenite revoloution and and the unfaulty weapons in the 1948 war,,, to be honest with u ive never heard anything of the sort,,,, walaw baghalbik if u can give me a link,,, or smth i can watch or read to support what ur saying.
    i still stand strong on the conviction that the saud family works tooth and nail to incriminate Jamal Abd Alnasser,,, as they always have

    anywayz thank you, and i apologize for pasting after such a long while, its jst that i had trouble getting back to the blog,,
    once again,,, great blog.


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