Love, Poetry, and Self-Discovery: a Film That Will Inspire You to Embrace Your Extraordinary Life
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 35m
Director(s): Patricia Chica
Writer(s): Patricia Chica, Kamal John Iskander
Cast: Hakim Brahimi, Jasmina Parent, Sana Asad, Jade Hassouné, Nahéma Ricci, Manuel Tadros, Arno Schultz, Chadi Alhelou
Where To Watch: in select theatres May 12 and On-Demand June 27, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: A film that should have been pretty run-of-the-mill about life, love, and the challenges we face, taking that narrative and forcing us to confront it. In MONTRÉAL GIRLS, we follow Ramy (Hakim Brahimi,) an aspiring poet who embarks on a life-changing journey to Montréal to pursue a medical degree. Along the way, his cousin Tamer (Jade Hassouné) forces him out of his shell, and he dives headfirst into the city's lively subcultures and vibrant nightlife. This unforgettable adventure leads Ramy to embrace his poetic ambitions, allowing him to forge a relationship with two young women who challenge his beliefs and ultimately reveal his destiny.
This film pays homage to the city that director Patricia Chica holds close to her heart, captivating the audience with its profound emotional depth and flair. Chica's attention to detail and dynamic storytelling creates an all-encompassing story that plunges the audience into the core of Montréal and those who inhabit the city.
MONTRÉAL GIRLS showcases a gifted ensemble cast, with Hakim Brahimi portraying Ramy and his intricate inner struggles as a sheltered introvert. Ramy gets dropped into a world between Sana Asad, who plays Yaz, the slightly more outspoken friend on a mission to prove herself, and Jasmina Parent as Desiree, the more grounded of the two friends who holds onto a life she once knew while trying to escape it simultaneously, the two play off each other wonderfully. Jade Hassouné as Tamer, Ramy’s cousin, is the driving force behind getting Ramy to push his boundaries. Chica's direction elevates the primary cast's performance, taking a straightforward narrative and adding a brilliant coming-of-age story.
MONTRÉAL GIRLS is as much an experience for the eyes as it is for the ears; the combination of a fantastic cast, beautiful cinematography, and a powerful score/soundtrack combine to create something more in line with a poem that has come to life. The sum of its parts manages to be more than what you would assume is possible, and the film becomes a balancing act of counterweights that play off each other perfectly.
Drawing from “Chi Energy” principles, Patricia Chica's directorial style infuses the film with a deep connection to its characters and themes. The visuals on screen parallel Ramy's journey through the film, whether that’s his poetry on stage or the art exhibits we encounter.
MONTRÉAL GIRLS tells the story of self-discovery, liberation from expectations, and embracing one's true self. The film surpasses traditional romantic dramas by offering an insightful exploration of love and the human experience. It would have been easy for the film to fall into familiar tropes, especially with the romances in the movie, when we start to see stereotypes emerging.
In conclusion, MONTRÉAL GIRLS is a mesmerizing and emotionally powerful film that takes viewers along on this journey and shows its characters evolving on screen. Patricia Chica has crafted MONTRÉAL GIRLS, along with the remarkable cast to create a film that will touch the hearts and souls of viewers, inspiring them to appreciate and embrace their extraordinary lives.
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[photo courtesy of LEVEL 33 ENTERTAINMENT]