Lana is a 35-year-old upper middle-class housewife and mother, who, out of boredom, starts playing poker in secret. She plays more and more, madly, for higher and higher stakes, with undeniable talent and uncontrolled pleasure, as if to escape her wonderfully shattered paradise-like life. Bold, witty, mischievous, she plunges passionately and frantically in a tragicomic world peopled by eccentric characters, dragging along childhood friend Jenny, a beautiful and uncontrollable young woman, lost in her quest for pleasure and freedom... Together, the two defy chance and destiny as they become addicted to gambling and descend into the city’s sex, drugs and gaming underbelly, rubbing shoulders with some of the most savage villains. Soon, they find themselves on a sinking ship, but instead of fleeing, they stand at the bow, pretending it is all just a game… But what will be the price to pay?
A brutally attractive story
Quirky, highly subversive, at times hilarious, this film mingles dialogues in the most vulgar Lebanese dialect with international-style interventions. Super violent and excessive in many aspects, Nuts should definitely be taken in the second degree. Indeed, the movie clearly mirrors the humor and originality of Bargès’ vision.
As producer Tarek Sikias explains: “the story happens in Beirut, so you have the capital in the background, but it could have been any other country, although it wouldn’t have had the same taste. In Beirut, you have the remains of war, a Middle-Eastern mentality and a society that functions like a village.” Which makes for a great canvass.
Nuts is not a film that allows us to sit back and laugh innocently at polished characters. Instead, it’s a film that shows us the muddiest, ugliest depths of our society, and makes us struggle with the crude approach pictured here, as we try to convince ourselves that we have nothing to do with any of those vile characters or lost souls. Not for the faint heart, but it's well worth enjoying.
Darine Hamze, Gabriel Yammine, Hassan Mrad, Alexandra Kahwagi, Edmund Hedded, Tarek Tamim, Paul Mattar, Badih AbouChacra, Renee Deek, Nayla Moudabber, Issam Merheb, Abboudy Mallah
Directed by Henri Bargès
Written by Tania Sikias
Produced by Tarek-Gabriel Sikias