Nelly Kareem, Zeina and Ahmed Fahmy. Archive photo Nelly Kareem, Zeina and Ahmed Fahmy. Archive photo

To The Highest Price: The real value of human relationships

Fri, Jun. 9, 2017
CAIRO - 9 June 2017: Le A’ala Se’aar (To The Highest Price) is the Adel Group latest production and their fourth collaboration with Nelly Kareem who for the past few years has become a regular star of the annual Ramadan drama race.

The series is written by Medhat al-Adel and directed by Muhammad al-Adel. There is a dedication for the late Sami al-Adel at the opening and closing credit; a loyal gesture to their brother and third partner who passed away last year.

Medhat also wrote the opening credit song, which upon its first ten days of release on YouTube gained more than one million views, making it one of the most popular songs of all the drama series’ this Ramadan. People are even quoting the lyrics on social media; the words and rhythm of the song have struck a chord with people, reminding them that even the closest of people will sell you out at the right price. The song is composed by the famous Egyptian composer Amr Mustafa and sung by the Lebanese superstar Nawal al-Zoughbi.

The series touches on a subject that the majority of the audience have experienced; the betrayal of people and how eventually almost everyone will let you down and serve their own interests. Gamila and Layla are best friends for most of their lives, but there is an internal rivalry and jealousy that exists between them. It only becomes visible when Gamila, a ballet dancer, gets picked for an international performance and has to travel and it is here we begin to see Layla’s plan to stop Gamila from travelling and is successful.

Le A’ala Se’aar has so far been a huge success with viewers getting attached and sympathising with Gamila played by Nelly Kareem and convinced by the brilliant acting of Zeina that Layla is as evil as she is portrayed. As the drama progresses Gamila marries the working class Hisham played by Ahmed Fahmy who is studying to be a doctor despite the warning of her mother and Layla. But Gamila loves him and moves in to his tiny flat in a working class alley; a vast difference to the life she has been accustomed to.

Fast forward seven years later and we see a different Gamila, in full face veil (niqab), a mother of 7 years old Ayasha and basically a housewife who no longer cares about her appearance after quitting ballet to please her husband, who became a renowned doctor with his own private hospital. Layla is there again who is envious of Gamila’s lifestyle and plots to seduce Hisham and she succeeds as she even marries him destroying her friend's marriage.

Gamila’s world is shattered as even her family take Hisham’s side, because they are all employed by him at the hospital. Gamila loses one battle after another as Layla proves to be a fierce opponent with underlying tactics.

After Nelly Kareem’s failure in last Ramadan’s series race with ‘Sokot Hur’ many thought that she will take a break this year or that people will not tune in to her latest drama as she lost a lot of what she achieved with ‘Sokot Hur’ but it seems that her fans and the general public still believe in her despite the fact that she seems to be stuck in the same role year after year; the good natured loved woman, who is always the victim of men but still survives and sometimes gets her revenge. Unlike other notable stars Kareem still attracts viewers and her drama despite its flaws it still sells.

Le A’ala Se’aar succeeded in its fast pace as viewers would have got bored had the plot dragged on and we had to wait to discover Layla's evil intention. The drama series was also successful in choosing the actors for example Nabil al-Halafawy is exceptional as Gamila’s father who refuses to join the current trend of popular music insisting on teaching the young generation the old beautiful classic, which few appreciate nowadays.
Zena is another fantastic choice as she is very convincing in her role as selfish and vindictive Layla, although like the majority of the drama’s characters she is one dimensional in the sense she is portrayed as a ‘devil’ yet in every human being there is a good and bad side yet this is not evident in any of the characters.

Whether you love or loath Le A’ala Se’aar plot you will not stop watching it even though you would be breathing a sigh after each episode and want to tear your hair out because of the frustration. The Adel Group despite their simplistic approach have done a great job in attracting a large proportion of the annual Ramadan audience and have succeeded in making Le A’ala Se’aar one of the most watched and eagerly awaited drama series.
 
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