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Mystery. Intrigue. Manipulation. Deceit. Betrayal. Let the fierce winds of enigma fade into the sand dunes while revealing an adventure of a lifetime. Or, perhaps, unveil instead the inevitable countdown of the end of days?

A tale cloaked in suspense from the very beginning to end. It all starts with one tragic death in the deserts of Amman, Jordan. The Rendezvous begins with the shocking demise of Dr Rachel Rozman’s brother, David. A brother she has not seen in three years died under gruesome circumstances with his left hand handcuffed to the steering wheel of a car. Abandoned in the desert heat with the front tyres shot out. The heartbreaking news is delivered by Jake Al-Shandi, a United States Department employee.

It is definitely not an accident. Perhaps, a planned murder, or an elaborate suicide? With several clues left by David, would it be a wise choice for Rachel to follow the bloody breadcrumbs and try to unravel the truth(s) behind David’s sudden demise? Is the glass half full or empty, here? It is a difficult decision. As time slips past us all quietly, shadowless and unnoticed, would smashing the proverbial glass instead matter at all when it emerges to be a viable option?

Shadowless Entanglements

A still from The Rendezvous, which is available to stream on Qalbox.

Any death of a family member is an absolute traumatic and life-altering occurrence. Rachel hardly has the time to process her grief when she is pressed by the authorities for answers. Answers that elude everyone, including Rachel initially. Answers that surface based on a trail of scattered clues of a dead brother, which translates into shadowless entanglements for Rachel.

Utter confusion and frustrations set in fast; forcing Rachel to articulate them in exasperation to Jake: “You know, if I had the answers to your questions, I would not be sitting here trying to answer your questions.”

From California, United States to Jordan then Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and back to Petra in Jordan, David’s shadow looms large as Rachel is made to confront a painful reality. Her entanglements with people and things because of David that would lead to the unravelling of something sinister. Possibly the truth, or just an accelerated descent into a brewing conspiracy of fanatical individuals and groups.

Rachel’s steely determination to get to the bottom of things betrays her outward display of confidence. It rips apart her fragile sense of purpose and direction with the unmasking of feelings of guilt towards David: “… I cannot leave until I find out what happened to David.”

It appears that before his untimely death, David was in possession of an ancient artefact that is being hunted by many powerful, and at times dangerous, individuals and groups, including the United States government. Rachel has to painstakingly piece together a trail of clues with the help of Jake. All the while racing against time in seeking answers and not getting killed!

One of the several suspicious characters to look out for is Beltran Reyes, a friend of David. He has the following words to remind Rachel and Jake, and by extension an implicit reminder to us, the audience, as well: “When your enemy is invisible, it is wise to be paranoid.”

A still from The Rendezvous, which is available to stream on Qalbox.

Who is a friend? Could a friend also be her foe? Is there anyone left for Rachel to trust?

“Dr Rozman, I am afraid you have no idea how entangled you are in a very dangerous business,” warned Charles Du Plessis, an eccentric French millionaire.

Inevitable End Of Days?

The very dangerous business in spotlight is linked to artefacts of ancient cultures. Quasi-religious manuscripts, to be exact. Fragments of truths following what is left of prophetic evidences suffering from the ravages of time, for instance, the Dead Sea Scrolls. It does not end there. Instead, there are more such valuable scrolls to be unearthed. Specifically, the fittingly named Armageddon Scroll, in The Rendezvous. What if these precious, ancient artefacts fall into the wrong hands? Why does it matter at all?

According to Fawaz Azzam, David’s university professor: “Anything can be a weapon for the right kind of imagination.” Thus, Rachel has been provided an added motivation to continue following David’s clues.

Allegedly, these scrolls provide answers to age-old questions, which certainly have gripped, suffocated the imaginations and fascinations of many generations. Prophecies or a roadmap in spelling out the end of the world? A treasure-hunting, of sorts, seems to be the next logical step. Sounds preposterous, maybe. However, that has not stopped many from hunting for such artefacts. And, generally the truth is stranger than fiction, at times.

What more would Rachel have to do when faced with the choice of saving the world? Too big a burden? The belief in world peace and its related ideals is not just a supremely forgotten dream often deemed as mere wishful thinking of the naive.

What is the truth, for Rachel? What exactly is she seeking? Justice for her brother, or something else altogether, something beyond her control and capacity to understand? Is world peace to remain a stale and superficial regurgitation of annual pageantry on stage? More importantly, are there any winners in this adventure? What are the chances for Rachel?

It is alright to critically engage with the film by avoiding passing snap judgments that serve to poke holes in the overall plot as the credits roll. Return to the source for a more comprehensive viewing. For those of us who are bibliophiles at heart, a reading of ‘A New Song’, by Sarah Isaias, which the The Rendezvous is based on might provide comfort in certain artistic licenses taken in the film adaptation.

A still from The Rendezvous, which is available to stream on Qalbox.

Presently, set a date and time to watch The Rendezvous. In actuality, it would be best done in the next hour and a half. And, as Jake sarcastically takes a jab at Rachel’s detective instinct: “I am guessing lonely nights, watching Sherlock Holmes on TV with ice cream and flannel PJs.”

“… A lot can be gleaned from watching Sherlock Holmes,” retorts Rachel. And, rightly so. No one would be judging you if the above-mentioned description is a fitting mirror image of yourself. Get set, be ready to be entertained; stream it now!