Director:           Tarik Saleh

Stars:              Fares Fares, Mari Malek, Yasser Ali Maher

Running time: 111 mins

Ratings:           IMDB                      6.8      (IMDB score is weighted average of audience scores out of 10)

             Rotten Tomatoes    89%    (Rotten Tomatoes score is % of professional critic reviews that are




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Tarik Saleh is a Swedish film-maker of Egyptian background who has put together a serviceable noir thriller set in 2011 Cairo, functioning also as a satirical anatomy of the corruption and cynicism that led to the Tahrir Square uprising. It is inspired by the true story of the singer Suzanne Tamim, whose 2008 murder led to the prosecution of an Egyptian businessman.

Fares Fares plays Noredin, a Cairo cop: he is careworn, deeply and unthinkingly corrupt, and owes his position to the police chief being his uncle. But Noredin experiences a disgust-epiphany when called in to investigate the brutal murder of a beautiful young singer in a room at the lavish Nile Hilton Hotel. There is clear evidence that the culprit is a wealthy married businessman with serious political connections.

Noredin is brusquely told to drop the case – now described as an “incident” – and also gets bribes and a richly unmerited promotion in return for his silence. But he experiences a surge of defiance in his bleary middle age, and sets out, for the first time in his life, to do some real police work, a colossal rocking of an already leaky and unstable boat.

Were it not the fact that it is inspired by a true story, this might look like self-conscious Hollywood pastiche – and when Noredin gets involved with a shady lady acquainted with the victim, The Nile Hilton Incident starts to look like a 90s erotic thriller. It can be a bit contrived, and loses some focus in its final act, but there is a satisfyingly ironic showdown in the middle of the Tahrir Square demonstrations.

Morose, hangdog Noredin, so unconvincing in his colonel’s uniform, is a satisfying antihero.