Ghadi [2013] ★★★

GhadiAs a writer, actor and observer of Lebanese way of life, Georges Khabbaz just keeps getting better and better. Now he offers us “Ghadi”, a remarkably entertaining and thoughtful movie, and a solid feature debut behind the camera for Amin Dora, who directed the series “Shankaboot” a few years ago. Every detail of this modest movie is well thought  out and executed, from the spot on casting to the wonderful sound and music. Khabbaz also plays the main character, Leba, a music instructor living in a typical Lebanese neighborhood with his wife and 3 kids. His only boy, Ghadi, suffers from Down Syndrome and is mocked by the entire neighborhood. Revealing more about the story would require me to enter spoiler territory. Suffice to say that much like “Habbet Loulou”, Khabbaz and co wanted to turn a serious social issue into a crowd pleasing movie. Unlike “Habbet Loulou” (which failed miserably), “Ghadi” actually works, spectacularly, if I may say so. Much of it has to do with the likability of its stars. Khabbaz gives an unforgettable performance, but Dora has filled his picture with colorful and interesting characters. Some people might find the story’s resolution a bit too predictable, but I thought the movie as a whole was extremely funny and moving, not to mention unusual. I honestly loved it and the people in it. It’s a rare instance of a Lebanese movie I look forward to watching it a second time. And I hope it’s the smash hit it deserves to be.

Rating: 3/4

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