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‘JCVD’ Helmer Mabrouk El Mechri Signs for Biopic ‘Dalida’

Written by on May 21, 2012 

We’ve already made it clear that, for Mabrouk El Mechri The Cold Light of Day won’t be a worthy follow-up to 2008’s acclaimed JCVD. A bit of a shame, but something has just entered his field of vision — something that could wash the (potentially) bad taste of that actioner away. Variety informs us he’s currently developing Dalida, a biopic of the (soon-t0-be) titular Egypt-born, Italy-rooted, France-raised singer and actress, which Quad Films — the group behind recent French hits The Intouchables and Heartbreaker — will be producing.

Nadia Farés has been commissioned to play Dalida — born Iolanda Giglotti, though her first name was later changed to Yolanda — who reached her peak fame during the ’60s, performing songs such as “Parole parole” (with the legendary Alain Delon) and “Salma ya Salama,” while also making onscreen appearances in foreign art films. Unfortunately, the performer committed suicide in 1987 at the age of 54; as a result, Dalida will primarily focus on “the duality between the singer’s public image and who she really was.”

An examination of fame and its occasionally awful repercussions is what helped earn JCVD such plaudits in the first place, so perhaps El Mechri can use this project as a better launchpad than Cold Light. (A film that’s already been shuffled around after some negative overseas reactions.) Either way, I’m interested in seeing this story — one I don’t even know all too well — come to life in a harrowing fashion.

Is it satisfying to see El Mechri land a promising film?

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