27 October 2011 | TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews
How much does intent count for?
In Iran, a 24-year-old American woman, married to a Sunni, is sentenced to 100 lashings and a year in solitary confinement. Over the course of this, we find out why, and see the developments that ensue. Without giving too much away, she has been raped. This comments on the harshness of Sharia law and the stonings of victims of sexual crimes where it reigns, and without a doubt, this is an important issue that should be dealt with. However, this is a LifeTime movie, and as such, one can't take it particularly seriously, in spite of its potential impact. Never heard of the network? Consider yourself lucky. It creates this fictional world that's like a strange mirror to our own, an alternate plane or reality where females(who are always right!) are either victims of, or empowered and stronger than, men(who, at best, are incompetent and worthless, and at worst, pure, undiluted evil), where soap-opera level melodrama make up the majority of relations between people, where dialog is either unnatural or uninspired and where no one, not a soul, can act worth the extras of a high school play. Things just... happen, in this(especially when it's useful for them to), with no background, no details on how it occurred, and often half-hearted logic behind them. This appears to expect its audience to be intellectually challenged, as everything is explained as if to a child. Add to this the way this literally goes into absolutely nothing other than the main plot... not one theme relating to anything else(we wouldn't want the audience to think about anything other than we want them to, would we), with even the newscrawl only being about horrible fates in the Middle East and the story(the exploration of the subject is superficial), the writing is simplistic, and this even furnishes its closing credits(without them, this is literally about 70 minutes long!) with clips of... itself, just to hammer home the point(this feels like a campaign video, with some of the one-note characters essentially talking directly to the viewer). Heck, it's already ten minutes longer than it needs to be(the ending of this almost defies description, it's like they just... gave up pretending, or had ideas they couldn't otherwise fit into the rest of this. The production values are meh. Chronology of events is unnecessarily confusing, and the non-linear timeline feels gimmicky(hey, it was "hip" at the time!). This is, at its core, manipulative, emotional porn. For double-X chromosomes. It lacks credibility, talent and genuine effort. One can only hope that it will at least spread the definitely vital message to those who would otherwise not know of it. There is a lot of violence, disturbing content and intensity as well as brief full frontal nudity in this. I recommend this to those it was made for. Anyone else will see through it at a single glance. 3/10