London Film Festival 2017: ‘The Nile Hilton Incident’ Review

Transferring the film noir from classic Hollywood to modern Egypt, The Nile Hilton Incident attempts to reinvent the genre ­with middling results. The film stars Fares Fares (who you may recognise from Rogue One) as a corrupt Cairo police officer investigating the murder of a singer in the midst of the Egyptian Revolution. What starts as a fairly straightforward murder case, takes a number of twists and turns that lead up to the highest levels of the government.

Like the title, the film is intriguing but ultimately disappointing. The case itself is rather interesting (and apparently based on a real case) but the procedural investigation drags the film. Though it is elevated somewhat by its political backdrop and the ideas it balances like police corruption, it isn’t enough to make the story completely captivating.

The film begins to pick up the pace towards the end which plays out more like a thriller, but it doesn’t really revive the drag that was the first two acts. And while I did appreciate the political elements behind the story, I felt that the film only provided glimpses, and failed to really capitalise on this fascinating piece of history that could’ve made the story a rich commentary on corruption in Egypt.

Rating: 6/10

For a complete schedule and to buy tickets check out the BFI London Film Festival website.

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