Review: Clash

Blu-ray & DVD: Clash (2016)

Clash is the story about events which took place in Cairo – 2013, two years after the Egyptian revolution. The country is tearing itself apart with different factions taking to the streets to vent their anger. Nobody is safe, and people from different backgrounds are all thrown into an extremely volatile situation, where their freedom and safety are at risk. You could quite easily describe it as hell on earth!

In the middle of the chaos, a journalist and his cameraman are detained whilst trying to capture footage of the events. Before they know what is happening they are thrown into the back of a military truck. Scared and unaware of their fate, it isn’t long before protesters, members of the Muslim Brotherhood, men, women and children, are thrown into the vehicle, as tempers flare inside and outside the truck.

I’ll say right now that Clash was an absolutely superb movie, which was nail-biting from start to finish! Set entirely inside the truck, you feel completely trapped and claustrophobic, which added so much tension that I didn’t realise I was holding my breath as I dug my nails into the sofa.

Writer/Director Mohamed Diab made a point of being inside the truck at all times during filming, giving the film a kinetic energy that makes you feel like you are right in the middle of the carnage. It’s the sort of movie Paul Greengrass is renowned for, but for my money Clash is just as good, if not better, than anything Mr Greengrass has made.

Great pains have been taken to ensure there is absolute authenticity, and the size of the truck is exactly the same as what would have been used in real life. The commitment of the actors is astonishing as they stayed in the truck for the whole time of shooting, even when they weren’t in the scene. 25 people were cramped in the truck for the movie, so it blows my mind to think that there could have been double the amount suffering in the real situation. Even though there are so many people in the truck, it is credit to the actors and director that you remember each character, whilst feeling empathy for their plight.

Clash is a tough movie to watch in places and doesn’t shy away from the horror of what was happening. Imagine trying desperately to find out if your family members are dead or alive, and the only way of knowing is by shouting messages to strangers in other trucks. Imagine being trapped with 25 other people in a red hot metal box with no food or water, and nowhere to go to the toilet. Imagine being so desperate to escape your prison, but everywhere around you people are willing to take your life, so ironically the prison is the safest place to be. You don’t have to imagine these things whilst watching Clash, and as a result it gave me a whole new appreciation for the freedom we sometimes take for granted.

Despite all of the awful events that are happening, there is still humour, and Clash not only shows the dark side of human beings, but also shows the strength of the human spirit. Despite the desperate circumstances the characters find themselves in, even a game of noughts and crosses can be the connection they need to give them hope!

Other than seeing a few news snippets here and there, I didn’t really have much idea of the issues that were happening in Egypt. One of the biggest triumphs of the film is that is doesn’t favour any particular group or take any political stance. There are no good guys and there are no bad guys, there are just people, and no matter what their beliefs, they have the ability to show cruelty or kindness for each other.  Who knows how we would all act if we were faced with such a horrific situation?

They say actors suffer for their art, and in one of the extras, Mohamed Diab explains how he shot Clash on the streets of Cairo. He goes onto explain how it blurred the lines of fiction and reality, as there were real rocks being thrown at the cast, people being hit with fireworks, and unbelievably someone even got stabbed and kidnapped!

Watching and reviewing movies for 60 Minutes With is a wonderful pleasure, and there are times when you finish a film that you just want to blurt out “YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS MOVIE” to everyone who is willing to listen. Clash is one of those movies! As soon as you finish reading this review, click on the link below and buy it!

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Original 5.1 audio
• New optional English subtitle translation
• Tales From the Van, a new interview with director Mohamed Diab
• Making-of Featurette
• Trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring alternate artwork

You can buy Clash by clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes.

Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films.