CAIRO - 9 October 2021:The factor that determines the success of any drama is how it manages to present one or more of the four main pillars of fruitful drama: entertainment, messages to the audience, lessons to learn from and raising awareness of highly important societal, romantic, patriotic or political issues depending on the genre presented.
Ella Ana (Except Me) ticks off all four of the boxes and goes a step further: not only does the multi-story series raise awareness and discuss hot-button issues; it also offers solutions to certain life problems.
Ella Ana’s stories have one common thing: they all come from deep inside the Egyptian and Arab society, which is why audiences have found the series so relatable and familiar.
In Beit Ezz, one of the stories, Alya (Sahar El-Saigh) is a young engineer who was raised in a healthy atmosphere by romantic parents who showered each other with love as much as they showered her with care and emotions. When Alya’s mother Nagwa (Safaa El-Touky) passes away, Alya feels the weight of her loss but from this sad point on, a stronger bond develops between her and her father Aref (Roushdy El-Shamy).
The series unfolds to portray the young engineer as a victim of sexual harassment attacked by her boss at work.
In only 10 episodes Beit Ezz manages to tackle several societal issues in addition to sexual harassment, including the warm relationship between neighbors, the strong bond between a young woman and her father and mother, the unique love story between two married couples that spanned over 20 years, loyalty, betrayal.
The underlying message running through them all? All that glitters is not gold.
Beit Ezz teaches us in general and every girl in particular a number of lessons such as how to stay strong despite going through life-changing challenges such as losing one of your parents, how to support your father and take care of him as he grows old, how to move on after witnessing a huge betrayal from someone you once considered your soulmate, and how to hold on to your principles despite the hardships of life.
At the end of the day Alya was able to move on and find true love with Moatasem (Mostafa Mansour) after she was betrayed by the her cousin and the love of her life, Emad.
The series houses a parallel drama line portraying the relationship of Alya’s cousin Shahd (Hagar El-Sharnouby and her husband Haitham (Essam Elsakka).
Shahd is an anxious wife who always suspects that her husband is cheating on her, bringing much sadness to their marriage.
Elsakka turns in a dazzling performance, portraying a multilayered, rich and complex character who has multiple faces and who goes through many stages.
Elsakka seamlessly reflected all the facets of the character, convincing us at first that he is a miserable husband who is married to suspicious woman.
Audiences are later surprised to learn that not only is he indeed cheating on his wife, he’s also a crook who stole money from his mother in law, his wife brother and ran away.
Sahar El-Saigh proves through her role as Alya that she is now ready to headline a series and easily pull off the lead role.
Veteran actors Roushdy El-Shamy and Salwa Mohamed Aly were great as expected from them, but audiences will be pleasantly susprised to discover Aly’s sense of humor, which adds lot to Sanya’s character.