Will Patching, Eric Weinstock
You see a title like "An Egypt Affair" and the trouble that husband/wife Dylan & Alexa Fontaine are experiencing straight from the get-go, and you get a pretty good idea of where you think a movie like this will go and what it will be about. Dylan, the "poor little rich kid with a celebrity father," is doing his best to break out into the big-time and step out from underneath his dad's shadow, but it's clear that's not an easy task for him, despite his constant efforts. He is clearly a lot to deal with, but to be fair to the guy, it's also clear that his wife, Alexa, is very much done with him as well. Set in the beauty and spectacular splendor of Egypt, the scene has been set, and we know it's just a matter of time before the couple's disconnect frays altogether, especially once the gorgeous Safiya gets involved.
Innuendo is abound. "Controlling a big male with your thighs is very powerful." – I tell ya, I am struggling to figure out what Safiya might have been referring to as she talked with Dylan on a horseback ride; what could it be, what could it be? Soon, the two are holding hands, a kiss is shared, and a harsh conversation takes place between Safiya's other half, Dariya & Dylan afterward. The main remaining questions are: how bad will the damage to these relationships become, will it be worth it, and what will the fallout be like? Add in the increased tensions with Dylan's best friend, Jake, regarding their status in life, and it starts to feel that even out in the vast landscapes of Egypt, the walls are somehow closing in on them all. The cast in this film does an excellent job, and the scenery is nothing short of incredible. While there's much that you can assume you'd find in a storyline like this, writers Will Patching & Eric Weinstock have done an excellent job of keeping us guessing how things will ultimately go - and director Marlin Darrah has also done a remarkable job of establishing a level of tension between the characters that you could cut with a knife. It's expertly filmed, mysterious, steamy, romantic, and dangerous – "An Egypt Affair" is a love story that dares to fiercely examine the effects of the absence of love, too. As we all know, if you don't tend to your own garden, there's always someone else that will.
Dylan is played very well by Jarred Harper, who brings a natural confusion and false courage to his character. Stacey Marie Williams nailed the cold loneliness of Alexa, and Massi Furlan expertly brought a real sense of danger to the screen through his role as Darius. Nick Dreselly Thomas also did a great job of playing the loyal but complicated best friend to Dylan. Yolanthe Cabau is outstanding as Safiya and brings supreme beauty to the screen that could rival the most amazing shots of Egypt. Even supporting characters like the humble Captain Amaros (Alfonso DiLuca) and Amber McIntyre (Lesley Grant) who had much smaller roles, still contributed to the quality of this movie greatly. "An Egypt Affair" does play a bit like a Romance novel come to life in terms of its vibrant cinematic qualities and lust-filled plotline, but it doesn't feel cheap; in fact, to look at it, it actually appears like a very expensive movie overall.
As the stakes of the game at play in "An Egypt Affair" get raised along the way, the storyline also greatly increases in cost, and pretty soon, it's clear that things aren't what they seem, and Dylan is way over his head. Even while sleeping, he still manages to get himself in more trouble with Alexa – "It's getting worse by the day," as she'll tell ya, and from what we can see, she certainly ain't wrong. "An Egypt Affair" has a whole cast of characters that seem like they're collectively headed for disaster in their own unique ways, and we're left to wonder how many of these couples will come out the way they came in.
I really liked the culture that Darrah brought to the screen with the settings and shots he chose – "An Egypt Affair" looks entirely gorgeous & straight-up awe-inspiring in specific locations that we get to see. What is really great about this film is that it never felt like it was trying to do too much at the same time, and considering how much is going on by the end, you have to credit the writing of Patching and Weinstock & the expert direction of Darrah for doling out the details at the right pace. The cohesion is there - it's a plausible story, the characters are solid, and the acting is really decent across the board – I feel like everyone involved should be really satisfied with the results they achieved. "An Egypt Affair" has a bit of melodrama to it and a couple of scenes that could have been more committed or believable when it came to the most intense fight scenes or physical violence depicted, but all-in-all, it's highly comparable to the best of the TV movies you've seen visually, and has a story that's arguably got even more depth to it.
I'm going with a well-deserved and rock-solid four out of five stars – "An Egypt Affair" is a beautiful mystery to see unravel, and the many twists & turns that it has all fit into the bigger picture of its clever plotline. We see everything that we need to see in order to piece this puzzle together at the same pace as the characters seem to - and I appreciate that in a good Mystery/Thriller – this was definitely an enjoyable film. No question.