“The Leader” Adel Imam… 60 years of playing with adults | art

Adel Imam is the owner of one of the longest artistic careers in the Arab world. Over the course of 6 decades, the Egyptian artist, who today celebrates his 84th birthday, has enriched the art library with a balance of artistic works exceeding 170 diverse works between cinema, theater and television drama, and to maintain his stardom and take the lead on the scene. Artistic work without retreating from the artistic and popular status it enjoyed.

Density and diversity

In the sixties of the last century, Imam appeared for the first time on the artistic scene through a secondary role assigned to him in the play “Where Are You Where Are You” with the comedy star at this stage, Fouad Al-Muhandis, after which he moved away from the university stage, where he was a student in the College of Agriculture, and presented Many secondary roles, then a second role with major artists at this time.

The talent enjoyed by “Al-Zaeem” attracted producers and directors to give him the opportunity to star, which he achieved in the early seventies, specifically in 1973, through the movie “In Search of a Scandal,” which was the last work of the late writer Abu Al-Saud Al-Ebiary, a partner in the successes of the late comedy star Ismail Yassin. It is directed by Niazi Mustafa.

Before that, Imam had made his theatrical debut through “School of the Troublemakers” with the Al-Muttahideen troupe, which achieved great popularity and stardom for him, causing producer and director Samir Khafaji to assign him a separate lead from the rest of the troupe in “Shahd Mishfash Haja” and he succeeded in achieving solo success.

At that stage, he was able to become the number one comedian in the world of cinema, topping cinematic and theatrical championships, a stage in which he relied on intense production.

Depth and issues

Adel Imam was not satisfied with the stardom he achieved through comedy. In addition to talent, he possessed artistic intelligence, which made him work to achieve balance and diversity in choices, and to establish a different stage with the eighties of the last century and present characters different from the prevailing style for which he was famous. He continued to lead the artistic scene, outperforming his generation at that time and topping revenues, due to his keenness on the density of works, in addition to diversity in topics and issues.

He focused on monitoring political and social issues, through which he expressed the reality of Egyptian society and its dreams through the duo that brought him together with the late writer Waheed Hamed, where they presented their first work together in 1978, which was “Dreams of the Flying Boy.”

He later presented many issues in cinema, including “Terrorism and Kebabs,” “The Mansi,” and the sale of public sector companies in “Playing with Adults.” He confronted the phenomenon of terrorism that reached its peak in the nineties of the last century in “Birds of Darkness,” and he also presented “The Terrorist.” With the late writer Lenin Ramli.

In addition to his interest in monitoring the issues that preoccupy the Egyptian and Arab citizen, and the films that carried artistic value that he presented with Wahid Hamed, Adel Imam was busy developing his artistic project with diversity in the level of acting performance and the quality of works, so he presented the comedy, tragedy, and melodrama that the Egyptian audience tends towards in films such as “Mothers.” In exile” and “Ghoul”.

He formed a duo with director Samir Seif, and presented a number of action films with him, such as “Shams El-Zanati,” “The Tiger and the Female,” “The Birth,” and with Nader Jalal in “The Devil’s Island” and “Peace, My Friend.”

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - DECEMBER 05: Egyptian movie and stage actor Adel Emam receives a tribute award during the 14th Marrakech International Film Festival Opening Ceremony on December 5, 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco.  (Photo by Dominique Charriau/Getty Images)
Egyptian artist Adel Imam won the title “The Leader” after the great success of a play he presented in 1993 bearing the same name (Getty)

Keep up to date with developments

“Al-Zaeem” possessed an artistic compass that made him able to keep up with developments, which enabled him to continue and maintain his position after the emergence of the new generation of funny people at the beginning of the millennium, and the success of Mohamed Henedy, Alaa Wali El-Din, and Mohamed Saad in topping revenues, and here he relied on a different artistic approach that made him He maintains his position and his star does not fade despite the emergence of a new generation.

The great actor relied on quality and reduction instead of intensity and quantity, while presenting different roles in performance and form, choosing works that suit his age stage, and working with new authors and directors, the most prominent of whom at this stage is the writer Youssef Maati.

With his years of experience, Imam focused on generating revenues by presenting films that fit the cinematic seasons, such as holidays, and other heavier works that fit the summer cinematic season. His approach at that stage relied on presenting issues in a simpler way while preserving the social criticism that distinguished his works through… “Comedy Knight” and moved away from the black comedy he presented in the 1980s and 1990s.

In 1993, he presented the play “The Leader,” which achieved such remarkable success that its name became a nickname given to Adel Imam.

He also dealt with the Arab-Israeli conflict directly and clearly through the film “The Embassy in Architecture” with Youssef Maati and directed by Marwan Hamed. He was interested in monitoring electoral corruption in “Bakhit and Adila… The Bucket and the Cane,” and also addressed issues of corruption of some businessmen in films such as “Bobus.” And “Morgan Ahmed Morgan,” and monitored the condition of Egyptians in America in the movie “Hello America.”

In addition to political issues, Imam was also interested in monitoring humanitarian models in films such as “The Danish Experience.” He embodied the model of a father who has four adult children. He worked hard to raise them after the death of his wife, but he suffers from problems of emotional deprivation, until he falls in love with a girl he meets during his work. Minister of Youth and Sports.

Imam then appeared as a father who was extremely jealous of his daughter and refused to marry her in “A Groom from a Security Agency,” and in “Alzheimer’s,” his last cinematic appearance in 2010, he presented the model of a father whose children try to seize his money and claim that he suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

Television drama was his last stop, and in drama he continued to address the issues that had gained him great popularity. In “Naji Atallah Band,” he again dealt with the confrontation with Israel, and followed it with works such as “The Clairvoyant,” “The Goblins of Adly Allam,” and “His Excellency.” “, and “Hidden Worlds”, then he presented his latest work, “Valentino” in 2020.

Although Adel Imam has been away from the artistic scene since his last work, he is still present with his varied and abundant artistic repertoire and the honors he received during his career. He was honored in recent years, at the first session of the El Gouna Film Festival 2017, and was honored at the beginning of this year in Saudi Arabia in Joy Award celebration.

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