29 August 2003 | ajjetollah
This is a very non-Iranianesque movie in the sense that it isn't totally depressing as its older siblings, but most Iranian movies do merge on one point - the suffering of people, and in this case: women.
So you might say that this film has a more positive outlook on life than the general movie from Iran. If you regard movies as psycho-cultural mirrors of their places of origin, then it becomes evident that the spark of positivism is due to the more liberated Iran, and consequently the anguish portrayed in this film is also a reflection of the Iranian women's agony.
But in this black night of tragedy, brilliant stars of hope appear and glimmer for a while, but not long though. The movie even begins with an ominous phone call by a desperate woman. It then unfolds, flashbacks sandwiched between the main story. This way the movie never lets go of the suspense, while on the same time, it unravels new things for the viewer.
It seems quite strange for me that such a movie could pass the beard-stroking-sharia-in-hand ayatollahs considering the fact that it is very feministic and portrays women as careerists and independent. Maybe this is another sign of the more open Iran mentioned above. There are however, implications from the men in the movie that the women should stay home and do the traditional chores around the house (i.e. giving birth and cooking food).
All of the actors in this movie are very good, particularly Niki Karimi (who should get an Oscar, or at least a Palme D'or, for her breathtaking perfomance on the stairs, reflecting her life) and, my favourite, Mohammed Reza Foroutan (who plays the somewhat shy and misunderstood maniac very well, compare this roll with the one in Zire Pooste Shahr and you'll see what a great actor he is).