Qusay Khouli returns to himself

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At the beginning of 2021, “No Judgment” (written and dialogue by Bilal Shehadat and Nadine Jaber, directed by Philip Asmar) was the first of the new dramas to find their way to the streaming platform “Shahid VIP”. The series brings together Qusay Khouli, Valerie Abu Chakra, Tony Issa, Carlos Azar, Carole El Hajj, Abdo Shaheen, Elie Mitri, Karen Salama and others.The series, produced by the company “Sabbah Brothers” (Sadiq Al-Sabbah), derives its title from the phrase “There is no judgment on it” that is written on the summary of the criminal record in Lebanon. It is the official document that proves the existence or absence of criminal judgments, declaration of bankruptcy or a judgment in absentia with a felony in a person’s record.

The Syrian star mastered the performance of the character “Naseem”

Over the course of 15 episodes, “No Judgment” delivers significant doses of suspense within an interesting plot of action and action. For reasons that we later discover that she is very personal, the lawyer “Zaman Bitar” who kidnapped her in her childhood by a gang and stole one of her kidneys re-opened the case of “Naseem Khater” five years after he was sentenced to life imprisonment for a crime he did not commit, which is the killing of his mother “Iman” (Sahar Fawzi ) And her husband (Asaad Rashdan), who was unaware of her relationship with him. A period that the hero spent behind bars, was enough to transform him into another person burdened with worry, injustice, confusion, suspicion and anger. Note that the father of “Zaman”, the journalist “Riad”, who was trying to entrap criminals, also lost his life on the same night that Naseem was arrested.
And between the successive police events and the quest to discover the identity of the true criminal, the dramatic work sheds light on thorny social and criminal issues, on top of which is the trade in human organs, in parallel with a love story of another kind that gives the work a romantic flavor that combines “time” with “a breeze”. The defense agent is Valery Abu Shakra, who under the direction of Philip Asmar shows remarkable development and acting abilities that we did not see in her previous experiences, especially in the series “Ma Vie” in its two parts (directed by Rasha Sharbatji), where coldness, prejudice and dependence dominated her performance. As for the accused, he is the Syrian star Qusay Khouli, who reminded us, through this role, of that talented actor who mastered playing “Samer Al-Bastat” in “Ghazlan in the Forest of the Wolves” (2006) and “Yarob” in “Takht Sharqi” (2010) and “Jaber” In “Birth from the Loin” (1 and 2), which some Arab works have made us forget about recently. The unmistakable ingenuity of translating “Naseem” on the small screen; From the figure, to the way of walking and speaking, as well as the facial expressions and the movement of the eyes, which conveyed all the components of the personality and its transformations with all honesty and smoothness.
In the context of talking about actors, we must pay tribute to the Lebanese Carlos Azar (Ghassan), who turned events in the end, and his compatriot Abdo Shaheen. The latter was a real surprise in the work, and it is he who has proven repeatedly, especially through the series “prestige” (directed by Samer Al-Barqawi), that he is an actor of a heavy caliber. Abdo shows us a figure installed from the middle of the street. From the very first moments, Shaheen succeeds in convincing the viewer that he is “Akram Hadid”, a “thug” outlaw and wanted for justice, ready to do anything to earn his livelihood. The artist, who graduated from the “Institute of Fine Arts” at the Lebanese University (Theater Department), does this, suggesting to the viewer that he does not make much effort, even if the reality is completely different, and he also makes us forget the character of “Shaheen”, which has been entrenched in people’s memory since 2017.

15 episodes of “Watched” take place in a context of suspense and mystery

At a time when Arab drama for years has been submerged in quotation, before confusion printed a wide range of experiences so far in terms of short series that are very popular around the world thanks to the proliferation of “streaming” platforms (with a few exceptions), it provides “no judgment.” “A very different model. It is true that the general features of the story may seem similar to the Turkish series “Until the death” (directed by Farid Kaitan – starring Engin Akyurek and Fakhria Ogen), but the combination prepared by Bilal Shehadat and Nadine Jaber prompts us to overlook the matter. The Turkish story revolves around a young man, a candidate to be a doctor, named “Dahan”. He was accused 11 years before the events of killing the father of his girlfriend, whom he was about to marry, “Beryl” (Cogan Arslan). The matter is nothing but a plot orchestrated by “Ander” (Serb Lavan Douglo), who fell in love with “Beryl”, and devised a plan to get rid of “Sizai” (Beryl’s father) who knows his great secret. With the passage of time, the hero is released from prison thanks to the young and beautiful lawyer (Fakhriya Ogen) who has just started her career and finds evidence that no one had noticed before.
Hadduta’s lack of novelty in “No judgment” recedes in the public scene in favor of good dramatic handling, the hastening events and suspense, and the convincing plot that the makers tried to harmonize with our reality and our daily lives (in Lebanon and Syria).
In addition to the attractive cadres and the elegant and graceful image, Philip Asmar succeeded once again in controlling the actors and bringing out their best. Action scenes are another point recorded for the Lebanese director, specifically those that take place in the cell. What we have seen is very faithful to reality, and if the dialogue was nicer than the truth, for the necessities of marketing and presentation, perhaps!

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