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Film Review: City of Life

May 6, 2010

Films_CityOfLifeAli F. Mostafa (taken from the official website gallery), A scene from City of Life – Jason Flemyng and Alexandra Maria Lara (taken from the official website gallery)

theartskitchen.com, By Paul Williams, Posten On: Saturday May 1, 2010

While Dubai has played host to quite a few international movies, it has only ever been included in a few scenes and up until now, has never had an entire movie filmed here. This is where City of Life comes in.

Envisioned by Ali F. Mostafa, an award winning Emirati writer and director, City of Life is the first multilingual feature – length film to be produced solely in the UAE, and with all the hype that has been generated by the various showings it has done at film festivals so far, it is bound to give the UAE another reason to be known worldwide.

Before getting further into the small details about this film, I want to make one thing clear – while it did extremely well in both, the Dubai International Film Festival and the Gulf Film Festival, including the cinemas post its release – script wise it is well written however it isn’t exactly a brand new idea.

Bearing more than a few resemblances to 2005’s Crash – in terms of a storyline where a group of people are connected in some way, even though they do not realize it, and are ultimately brought together by a car pileup that changes them for good.

At the same time, City of Life does host and unify some big names from Arabic, Hollywood, Bollywood and the television industry with Natalie Dormer, Jason Flemyng, Sonu Sood, and Saoud Al Kaabi, including a cameo by the comedian, Ahmed Ahmed.

Ali F. Mostafa, with this film, has certainly brought a lot of attention to Dubai; exposed and added limelight to the budding actors and filmmakers in this region – but one of the primary reasons a lot of people seem to go watch City of Life is because of the fact that it is a Dubai – based film and a huge achievement for UAE’s film industry.

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