Director Ruba Nadda backed away from the Hollywood norm of France or Italy and instead chose Egypt’s capital, Cairo, as a breathtaking setting for the love affair in “Cairo Time.” The light manner of the film starts to tense with anticipation as a romance builds, and the audience is left waiting to see where it goes.
Fashion editor Juliette Grant’s (Patricia Clarkson) husband is always at work and cannot spare any more than a phone call to satisfy her. The plot thickens when her husband’s former security officer, Tareq (Alexander Siddig), gives her the attention she has been longing for from her invisible spouse.
The film focuses so heavily on the splendor of Egypt that the country itself could be a main character alongside Juliette, making the plot less intricate than the setting itself. With each frame, Juliette is used as a prop to show the audience how exquisite Egypt is.
While the plot stays constant, keeping Juliette and Tareq’s relationship at an arm’s length rather than very affectionate, it begins to feel drawn out and has the audience waiting for that climatic kiss.
Despite the few jitters that audience members may feel when viewing the pair’s relationship blossom into new territories, the film is not a core-shaker but a lovely, light version of a romance being played out.
“Cairo Time” was written and directed by Ruba Nadda.