An Egypt Affair is a well-made indie gem that surprises on multiple levels

by Gordon Shelly

I tend to approach the viewing of independent films with a very different mindset than I do with big-budget studio films. With the latter, I often expect to be dazzled but wonder how they will disappoint me. With the former, I expect to be disappointed but hope to be surprised.

I went into An Egypt Affair without any frontloading, and I was pleasantly surprised with the story that unfolded, the technical quality of the movie, the efforts of the cast, and the steady guidance of director Marlin Darrah.

The story’s protagonist is Dylan Fontaine, a young and wealthy CEO with political ambitions. Dylan and his wife, Alexa, embark on an Egyptian holiday, a second honeymoon, in hopes of repairing their struggling marriage.

Longtime friends, Amber and Jake, join them on their adventure as they embark on a five-day cruise along the Nile. They are joined by another couple, Darius and Safiya, both of whom have a degree of mystery and danger surrounding them.

The boat is helmed by Captain Amaros, who is a steadying presence throughout the journey.

As the story begins, it is unclear what type of move the viewer is going to be watching. It hints at the possibility of being a slow-burn thriller, or maybe a drama with a touch of eroticism, but really it proves to be a drama with elements of mystery and moments of adventure.

An Egypt Affair’s greatest strengths are the twists and turns paired with the character development. Between the three couples and the boat’s captain, we have to let the full story unfold to see who we can trust.

As for it’s technical merits, An Egypt Affair is an incredibly well-made movie. From the opening shots to the end credits, cinematographer Ian Tilson shows off his expertise with artistically interesting and well-composed shots.

This is a story that could have easily been bogged down by pacing, but Darrah and his editorial team keep the story moving, continually peaking our interest, without wasting any moments, while pushing the plot forward. At roughly 80-minutes long, An Egypt Affair tells a compelling and worthwhile story.

The ensemble cast is helmed by Jarred Harper (Dylan), Yolanthe Cabau (Safiya), Nick Dreselly Thomas (Jake), Massi Furlan (Darius), Lesley Grant (Amber), and Stacey Marie Williams (Alexa). While none of them are household names, there is a familiarity in each of the cast members, and a likability, however unlikable some of their actions might be.

The story presents each character as flawed and teases the viewer, making us unsure who we should be trusting and supporting. The actors each do a nice job at walking this fine line as the endgame for each character is revealed.

Alfonso DiLuca, in the role of Captain Amaros, proves to be the most honorable and most interesting character, even with minimal screentime.

Ultimately, An Egypt Affair is a well-made and rewarding independent film that might fly under the radar for many due to its lack of star power, but could otherwise be a Netflix or Hulu original.

It’s worth the effort to seek out this adventure.

Gordo’s Grade: B+