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  • Our Two Cents on Bassel El Khayat’s ‘Al-Katib’ Premiering on Netflix This Ramadan

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    If the traditional Ramadan marathon people freak about every year is not your thing, then this read’s for you. In case you haven’t noticed, the leading online streaming platform, Netflix, has taken things to a whole new level this year by dropping four new Arabic productions.

    Netflix dropped Al-Katib, Maza Law, Khamsa w Nos, and Ana 3endi Nas in its library. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see them all, but since our TV sets were missing Syrian Actor Bassel El Khayat, watching Al-Katib (The Writer) was inevitable. Now, halfway through Ramadan, it’s safe to share with you our honest review of Rami Hanna’s masterpiece.

    Al-Katib tells the story of Younis Gibran, played by Khayat, a best-selling crime novelist who becomes the prime suspect in a murder copied from the plot of one of his books.

    If you wasted your childhood on Agatha Christie’s books, then you’ll probably enjoy watching the series. We’d have to say, the plot is quite intriguing and the script is beautifully written. The cultural difference could cause some shock to Egyptian viewers as the series is set in Lebanon, however, the thrill is worth it. 

    Moving on to the bigger picture, the production, overall, is pretty impressive. The choice of frames and lighting, in particular, set the right atmosphere for the viewers. A personal favorite would have to be the black and white scenes in the train where Gibran went to his fictional character, Mr. Helmy, for solutions. The aesthetics, costumes, and art direction, in general, are on point.

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    The crime thriller is directed by Ramy Hanna and written by Rim Hanna; seems like art runs in this family’s blood. Along with Khayat, the cast features Daniella Rahme, Nada Abou Farhat, Nicolas Daniel, and Gabriel Yammine. 

    The series is, in fact, the first Arabic one to be bought by Netflix, for its premiere this Ramadan at a high price. Unlike what we’re used to from Netflix, the new episode drops after 6 pm. It’s also worth mentioning that Al-Katib is also airing on LBC.

    If you haven’t been watching, it’s never too late. At the end of the day, Netflix means binge-watching all the way!

    _________

    By Nadine Arab

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