Rami (Ali Ammar), a young man struggling with a physical disability, desperately tries to find his way in this touching story set in Montreal’s Lebanese community, a milieu rarely seen onscreen.

Working at the family restaurant and living under his parents’ roof, Rami occupies a world meticulously controlled by his father, who pays his son’s bills, chooses his vocational school and eventual career, and even finishes his sentences. As they prepare for their eldest daughter’s wedding, the family starts to wonder when Rami will find a girlfriend. Intensely shy but curious about women, Rami escapes online, where he has constructed an avatar called Roméo 11, a confident and successful globe-trotting businessman. One day he takes a bold step by agreeing to date a woman with whom he’s struck up an online flirtation, leading to one of the film’s most memorable sequences: Rami’s elaborate plan to measure up to his cyber-identity. As he nervously waits for his date in a chic hotel restaurant, the anticipation of what might transpire is agonizing.

With a neorealist impulse, Grbovic and co-writer/cinematographer Sara Mishara employ a disarmingly naturalistic observational style, capturing a world of carefully composed oppositions. Rami’s older sister is immersed in traditional Lebanese culture, while his popular younger sister is fully assimilated into Montreal teen life. Rami floats between both realms but remains an onlooker, unable to overcome the psychological weight of his disability. The film’s deliberate quietness accentuates his isolation, and is punctuated by a vibrant harp melody that captures Rami’s spark of hope.

First-time actor Ammar delivers a stirring performance, delicately carrying us through Rami’s journey and quietly building to an emotional crescendo. This is buttressed by the taciturn portrayal of his father by Joseph Bou Nassar, who manages to convey a landslide of words with a single look. Rami has been lying, both online and to his family. His deceits will soon catch up with him, and ultimately become the catalyst for finding his voice.

1 min 36 sec


Posted On
September 08, 2011
Ivan Grbovic

Sara Mishara


September 22, 2011
Ali Ammar
Joseph Bou Nassar
Sanda Bourenane
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