28 May 2005 | bzad56
This is a film about oppression. The film casts two of the major young stars in the contemporary Iranian cinema, which also explains the box office success right after its release. But aside from the stardom factor this film pictures a sub-culture that has often been associated with the lower class in Iranian societies. Hassan's character, which is skillfully performed by Amin Hayaii is the perfect stereotype for a certain group of people who are often called "JAVAAD" by the younger more westernized generation. Originated from the poor southern neighborhoods of Tehran the "JAVAD" culture has often been mocked by those who consider themselves more modern and stylish. The irony of the matter is in the fact that through this process of mockery Iranians (specially the younger generations) have developed a fetish with the norms and codes of the JAVAD culture. Imitating JAVAD slang and styles has become a "cool" thing to laugh at. With this regard it is easier to understand the well reception of the film not only in the black market inside the country, but also among Iranians in North America and Europe. The film's funniest moments are when the JAVAD culture is being represented by Hassan. Exploiting the slang and behavior of JAVAD culture, Hayaii gives the viewers what they love to see and even repeat! In fact Hassan's hostility towards his father's hitter is more of an social difference. His oppression is a result of the social gap he sees between himself and his soon-to-be-friend's counterpart: Amir. Later on in the film when Hassan has become modernized by his stylish friend, he says that he never felt like he is somebody before.
On the other hand and despite his physical attractions Golzar's character is also an oppressed one. Representing the liberal more modern generation of the Iranian young adults, Amir is abused by the suppressive authorities: His dad and the regime. Through Amir's interactions with the Islamic police with whom his dad is on one side, the film is critical of the Islamic regime's deal with the young population, which at the same time may have caused the possible bans for the film inside the country.
As the film nears ending it reveals some positive values of Hassan's culture such as loyalty and trust but at the same time treats him as someone who had to convert in order to win. The humorous qualities of Coma is only apparent to those familiar with the culture but it could also raise questions about why we laugh and its relation with our fascination with mockery.