“Beirut hotel” receives mixed reviews

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“Beirut hotel” the Lebanese movie that was censored in its homeland has drawn mixed reviews after its broadcast on a french TV channel.

The movie drew heavy media attention when it was censored by the General security several weeks ago. The film was therefore banned from being played in Lebanese cinemas.

French TV channel “ARTE” broadcast the movie on Friday night to a very high number of Lebanese viewers who have access to the channel via satellite. The film certainly benefited from all the hype that was generated by its censorship.

It is also one of the first Lebanese movies to feature explicit sex scenes and partial nudity. Lebanese actress Darine Hamzeh was criticized by a lot of religious figures who reportedly asked the General security to censor the movie.

“I regret to say that Daniel Arbid owes a huge thank you to the Surete Generale for giving her movie Beirut Hotel an absolutely undeserved space and attention in the media.”, wrote one viewer on her Facebook page.
“Totally flat and dull movie… No plot no story no message no…. unfortunately nothing! (except the beauty and charm of Charles Berling and Darine Hamze, and still they acted really bad)”, she added.

Another viewer had a completely different point of view: “I just watched Beirut Hotel on ARTE. […] It looked realistic; you (Darine Hamze) looked normal, confused, hot and happy for a deceiving moment after you got the sms :)…..very nice acting Darine, and the camera moves was nice, loved the versions of the songs also, great job”, he wrote on the lead actress’ Facebook page.

The film is certainly a “revolution” in its own way, and a little bit ahead of its time. But it is still a long way from Nadine Labaky’s style.

“Beirut Hotel” received 4.9/10 on IMDB.

Director:
Danielle Arbid
Writers:
Danielle Arbid, Vincent Dieutre (collaboration), and 1 more credit »
Stars:
Charles Berling, Darine Hamze and Fadi Abi Samra