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Montreal Girls (2022) (Movie Review)


The Film


A Middle Eastern man heads to medical school in Montréal where he meets an eclectic group of people and his his spark for writing poetry reignited.

Montréal Girls is a comedy/drama about a young Middle Eastern man, Ramy (Hakim Brahimi), who moves in his uncle’s house at Montreal to study medicine at the university. This new environment, his cousin, and his two female friends make him learn some important lessons about life, and change the way he feels about his passion, poetry.

Ramy, whose mother recently died of cancer, is about to study at medical school in Montréal. He moves in with his uncle and his cousin Tamer (Jade Hassouné), who is a singer in a rock band. Ramy has always had a love for poetry and he gets on well with his cousin since both are very artistic. Tamer invites him to one of his shows, where he meets his friends and partners, mysterious Yaz (Sana Asad) and outgoing Desiree (Jasmina Parent). Ramy loves this change, but at the same time he goes through an existential crisis, following the death of his beloved mother. In the end nothing will be the same for the Ramy.

The film starts off somewhat superficial and full of clichés, but I have to admit that Ramy’s character was deep and very believable. This was a good reason to continue watching. I also believe many viewers must have seen themselves in him. The movie has its flaws concerning the female characters, which were sloppily written. To be honest, I never managed to understand why the title is Montréal Girls, as they do not actually have that much screen time and we do not learn enough information about them. There are some scenes or dialogues that feel forced or weird and the performances of the female cast were disappointing.

Even if there are some problems, Montréal Girls is a movie that changes you, motivates you, and you feel like a different person in the end. It is aesthetically pleasant to watch, with many touching moments and it makes you see things from another perspective.

In terms of characters, Middle Eastern Ramy is heartbroken by the loss of his mother, and decided to become a doctor so that he can save people’s lives. He leaves his home and lives with his uncle now, Hani (Manuel Tadros), and cousin, Tamer, in Montreal to attend the university. Even if Ramy made his dream a reality, he realizes that maybe medical school is contrary to what he is passionate about. He spends quality time with Tamer, meets his artistic friends Yaz and Desiree, and starts rethinking his life and about poetry as something more than a hobby– we see the protagonist writing a lot of poems throughout the movie, but this earns his father’s disapproval.

  • Montréal Girls - Alleyway © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) 2 © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) 3 © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) 4 © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) 5 © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Jasmina Parent (Desiree), Sana Asad (Yaz) & Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) 2 © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Jasmina Parent (Desiree), Sana Asad (Yaz) & Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Jade Hassouné (Tamer) © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Jade Hassouné (Tamer) & Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) 6 © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Nahéma Ricci (Sophia) & Hakim Brahimi (Ramy) © Objectif 9 & Flirt Films
  • Patricia Chica © Joshua Bilbao
  • Patricia Chica © Camilla Castillo
  • Patricia Chica © Sophia Benalouane

Tamer is Ramy’s wild cousin, who is the lead singer of a rock band. He is cheerful and fun to be around, while at the same time encourages Ramy’s poetry. Yaz is the promoter of Tamer’s band and shows. She is mysterious, seductive and sexually promiscuous. She has something elusive and Ramy falls for her. Yaz is emotionally unavailable, but at the same time an attention seeking person. Later we learn that her behavior is a form of revolution against the female ideal in her country, as she also comes from the Middle East. Both Tamer and Desiree warn Ramy to lose his feelings for her, as she is a “trap” and a “player”.

Desiree is the photographer for Tamer’s band and has a sexual affair with Yaz. Later, we see her tired of Yaz and she shares some moments with Ramy. She is the girl next door and has much more things in common with him. Unfortunately, we learn nothing more about her, and it is obvious that her character is underdeveloped. I think Yaz is superficially written as well, but Desiree’s portrayal is a disappointment, especially if we consider the title of the film is Montréal Girls.

Hani is Ramy’s uncle and very supportive of his needs after the loss of his mother. Fahim is Ramy’s father. He is emotionally distant, as he tries so much to protect his heart, to the point he becomes unsupportive of his family when in need. He is strict and pressures Rami to stop dreaming about becoming a poet. Alya is Ramy’s deceased mother, who was an English teacher and generally was a kind, talented, and giving person. Someone can infer that Ramy took everything from his mother and they shared a very close bond.

My favorite performances were those of Hakim Brahimi playing Ramy and Natalie Tannous in the role of Alya. They saved the movie with their incredible acting skills and chemistry, while there are many moving scenes that stay with us after the film has ended. On the other hand, Sana Asad and Jasmina Parent were frustrating as the titular “Montréal Girls,” Yaz and Desiree respectively. It was hard for me to concentrate on what both of them were saying, because their acting was so unconvincing!

Director Patricia Chica was innovative with a variety of techniques used. The use of Chi Energy method lets us feel the fresh air of nature and elevates the movie experience. Cinematography was mesmerizing too. Tamer’s room decoration and the rock music aesthetic surrounding his character is iconic. The red color palette of Yaz and her style specifically that is based on red clothes makes her look very seductive and unforgettable. There is a focus on detail and this is something that impressed me.

Some people might say that the ending was a little unrealistic, but I liked what I saw and I loved the vibes. The film as whole has its flaws. The underdeveloped female characters and some bad performances made it look superficial sometimes… The message of the movie, Hakim Brahimi’s superb acting, Ramy as a character, and the technical aspect and aesthetic are points I definitely appreciated.

Official Trailer for ‘Montréal Girls’

Montréal Girls is in Theatres May 12, 2023 and ON Demand June 27, 2023 Opening Exclusively on June 2nd  at Laemmle Glendale 207 N. Maryland Ave, Glendale, CA 91206 

  • Rating Certificate: Not Rated
  • Studios & Distributors: Flirt Films | Objectif 9 | Level 33 Entertainment
  • Country: Canada | United States
  • Language: French | Arabic | English
  • Run Time: 94 Mins.
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Director: Patricia Chica
  • Written By: Patricia Chica | Kamal John Iskander
  • Release Date: 12 May 2023

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A Middle Eastern man heads to medical school in Montréal where he meets an eclectic group of people and his his spark for writing poetry reignited. Montreal Girls (2022) (Movie Review)