Luxor (AFI Fest 2020); Grade: C+
Strictly Films welcomes to you to coverage of this years AFI Film Festival! Our next film on the block: Luxor.
Luxor tells a story about a woman named Hana (Andrea Riseborough), whom is visiting the ancient city of Luxor as she’s on leave from her work. Hana explores all around Luxor, experiencing the many wonders that this city has to offer as far as history and culture. Meanwhile while adventuring around the city, she’s accompanied by an ole friend back in the past Sultan (Karim Saleh). Hana rediscovers her past romantic interest, as he continues an experience worth exploring not only in front of her, but inside her as well.
Luxor is captivated by a lovely visual experience, as you get to be in Hana’s shoes as you explore Luxor as well. Definitely a life changing experience I do say so by the looks of this city, as one can imagine how the Holy Spirit can be tested while roaming in a place filled with thousands upon thousands years of history. Followed a simple composed Score, that brings some delightful sound towards the picture when presented. The cast of Luxor were solid as a whole, led by Andrea Riseborough and Karim Saleh. Andrea Riseborough displays a performance in which feels weak compared to her other performances, however that’s only because this film isn’t requiring her to do too much. It’s a solid performance in which felt like a breather for Andrea, as it felt like a natural performance for the most part, as Andrea can simply enjoy her experience in this city along with a romantic interest, in which she’ll display a couple well executed emotional moments. Her chemistry along side Karim were both fairly done, you believed in the romantic pair for the most part, despite the script not doing a whole lot with them. Karim Saleh played a solid performance in Sultan as well, making this a nice supporting character along side Hana.
Luxor can feel reminiscent to the likes of say Before Sunset: Past lovers reuniting, as they explore a city as they reminisce as they would like to continue a future together. Of course Before Sunset is much more superior than Luxor, as dialogue is much much better as it’s more interesting, engaging, and as well as more developed as well. Luxor on the other hand lacks much depth when it comes to substance but more so strong dialogue as well, in which rather tells the audience how each character is feeling, rather than showing it on screen.
They’ll be key moments in this journey in which both characters express some feelings, as where they’re currently at in life, as what they desire for in the future. However before hand how this film’s story is told felt rather undeveloped, as the moments leading us towards this moment in the third act felt kind of rushed, as it felt like the film was telling us rather than showing us. The film is more heavy on the experience itself, rather than the substance as I felt the dialogue was ok at the most part, as it really needed some meat on it’s bone.
In the finale it’s worth noting that the moments leading up to the conclusion were rubbish. I felt underwhelmed by the moments in which lead Hana to make her final decision, on whether to go back home or to continue a life with Sultan in it. Still with Luxor we can at least appreciate the experience that comes along with it, as it somehow displays a fitting romantic aspect along with it, though could’ve been more developed but at least it was believable as some interest went along with it.
Overall, Luxor was fine. I recommend checking this one out, but a better recommendation would be most certainly the Before Trilogy. -Mitch Smietana