• Wed. May 29th, 2024

The Insult – Broken Gutters, Broken Ribs, and Broken Dreams….

The Insult is directed by Ziad Doueri. The film stars Adel Karam, Kamel El Basha, Rita Hayek, and Camille Salameh. The film is in Arabic and French, and subtitled in English for American exhibition.

Tony, a Christian Lebanese man, butts heads with Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, following repairs that were done on Tony’s apartment balcony against his will, to fix an illegal drain installation. When their tempers flare and Yasser refuses to apologize and punches Tony, breaking his ribs and making his daily routine next to impossible, he takes Yasser to court. It is not long before the lawyers become the frontrunners and the case, which stemmed from a simple misunderstanding, spirals out of control, becoming national news, and igniting prejudices between Christians and Palestinians.

The Insult is a film that shows the ugliness of prejudice and racism firsthand, highlighting the ways that, even well into the modern age, it tears nations apartment. The characters in the film are fully realized and three dimensional, and the way the events of the film are quickly blown out of proportion to the point of rioting and national controversy go to show this firsthand, in the most graphic and detailed of ways.

 

 

The two leads in the film are definite standouts. Tony, the Lebanese Christian, is a garage owner who is married, and expecting his wife to soon give birth. He is a traditionalist who values his way of life, and takes the events on his property as an insult, demanding an apology. On the other hand, Yasser is a skilled employee and a hard worker, but his stubbornness and pride prevent him from offering the recompense that Tony seeks, ultimately leading to the courtroom trials. The chemistry between the two leads is a definite highlight throughout the movie, including their interactions following the beginnings of the trial, in which neither one is a clear-cut “hero” or “villain.”

The supporting cast is no less excellent, including Rita Hayek as Tony’s wife that is due to give birth, and wants nothing more than for their child to have a happy, healthy wife, and Camille Salameh as a fast-talking lawyer who steals every scene he is in. In fact, one of the strangest and most powerful things this movie does is that it paints Salameh’s lawyer character out to be far more villainous and prejudiced than either of the leads, further painting a picture of the conflicts at hand and how volatile the situation becomes. It is a movie that needs to be seen for these reasons.

There are a few minor issues with the narrative that keep the film shy of perfection, namely a subplot regarding the birth of Tony’s child and the aftermath; this tends to get cast aside in the latter half of the film and forgotten. The film also seems to expect its audience to have some knowledge of the background/conflicts/etc. in this region of the world at the time, which may confuse those coming in to watch the move that are not familiar with the plights in question.

Overall, The Insult impresses with its brutal honesty and message against the horrors and dangers of prejudice, even where the narrative lags. But the positives outweigh the negatives; it remains a polarizing film that any fan of realistic, dramatic fiction needs to see.

Rating: Three stars out of four.

The Insult is not rated by the MPAA, but my recommended rating is PG-13 for thematic elements, strong language, and scenes of realistic violence and rioting.

DISCLAIMER: All images featured in this review are the property of their respective copyright owners, including Ezekiel Films, Tessalit Productions, Rouge International, and Diaphana Films. For promotional purposes only. All rights reserved.

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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