'Coming Forth by Day', is a Requiem to a Mother-Daughter Duo - The New Indian Express

'Coming Forth by Day', is a Requiem to a Mother-Daughter Duo

Published: 10th December 2013 02:13 PM

Last Updated: 10th December 2013 02:14 PM

Hala Lotfy portrays death through the eyes of living. Named after the Egyptian ‘Book of dead’, (Al-khoroug lel-nahar), Lofty’s directorial debut, ‘Coming forth by day’, is a requiem to a mother-daughter duo, who spend their day fending for the man of the house.

In a stuffy, timeworn dwelling in Cairo stay Soad (Donia Maher), her mother Hayat (Salma Al-Najjar) and her paralysed father (Ahmad Lutfi). An eventful day taken out of Soad’s life is what ‘Coming forth by day’ is all about.

The suffocation and eeriness of the house reflect in the eyes of the characters while immersing us in its pungent stench. The director’s attempt to establish the frustrating monotony of the household succeeds easily, as the audience starts to wish for an outdoor shot where Soad and her mother could breathe some fresh air. When she does finally, they heave a sigh of relief.

There are instances when Soad, a thirty something unmarried woman, who has resigned herself into the four-walls of her duty, yearn for a normal life. And she sets forth to see her lover, whom she has not met in five months. “What will happen to your father when you are gone?,” asks Hayat while Soad is getting ready. Her helplessness and fear exude from that question. On the way, Soad encounters a mentally-ill girl, who grabs her money and leaves.

But the journey was in vain, as her lover refuses to meet her. Nobody to meet and nothing else to do, Soad wanders around. But while she was on her soul search her father falls ill. Thrown out of a taxi, Soad stays out the whole night scurrying from one place to another.  She finds her mother at home doing another chore for her father.

The film ends abruptly in Soad’s question “Where are we going to bury father?”.  In a slow-paced narrative that could test your patience at times, Lotfy delves deep into a world jaded with deep-ridden maladies. With frames that could narrate volumes, she depicts the catharsis of two women bound by their responsibility.

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