User Reviews (12)

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  • tex80527 January 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this at the US premiere in Santa Barbara. It was shown to a sold-out house of some 2200 people. It received a long ovation at the end. The story is based on the true story of the male lead. He wants to be a dancer, and the Iranian regime frowns on dancing. The tension is palpable, the cast of "good guys" and "bad guys" and "maybes" is good, there is some good male-female chemistry, and the ending is heartwarming. The dancing and the acting are top-notch, as are the photography and the music. I had some difficulty with the accents, but it certainly didn't ruin the movie. If I wrote much more, I would spoil it. So I won't. Just this advice: Go see it for yourself, you won't regret it.
  • This is THE movie Islamic countries don't want you to see. This movie will be banned in Iran. It could not have been filmed in Iran. Everyone would have been arrested! I expect conservative Muslims to give this movie low "1" or "2" scores on IMDb to discourage other Muslims from seeing it. It might give them ideas!

    Based upon a true story, it relives the tragic story of a young man and his friends who simply want to practice and perform modern dancing on stage in Iran. Dancing is forbidden there.

    This is a "quest for freedom" movie; a universally loved theme by audiences who believe in free speech and freedom to make expressive choices. It will leave you with a satisfying feeling. A few "twists" and surprises in the film heighten the tension you will feel. I thought of Alfred Hitchcock at those moments.

    One lone movie critic dismissed this movies' call for Iranian freedom. I say if an African American from the 1950s were to be recorded looking and speaking into a camera saying: "I want freedom; Freedom Now!"; Any movie viewer in America would take this act seriously. Here, this movie critic simply dismisses the Iranian use of "We Want Freedom Now" as a platitude or homily! How sad is that? Who's side is this critic on?

    One man gave a description of a beating by the Morality Police; and he spoke about "freedom". The movie critics call this "speaking with platitudes" and to a movie critic this is a no-no for Iranians. Who is this critic?

    If a person enjoys beauty and dance, this interest will be a plus to the further enjoyment and appreciation of this story. This movie should win an award for "The Most Worthwhile Film of the Year". With the political motions in the Mid East, this movie sets the viewer straight that Iranians are a modern people, but Islamic rule creates restricting conflicts in the souls of their people. What these people do to cope is laid out in this movie.

    Also explored in this film are the social and political aspects. We walk the streets of Iran and visit an underground society that lives out alternative lifestyles. This was an eye opener for me because it is easy to fall into the belief that everyone in Iran goes along with the "party line". Even with the threat of death and imprisonment, there are these brave souls that carve out certain alternative ways of living there.

    There is no sex in the movie. Even kissing is prohibited in public in Iran. The movie shows the Morality Police punishing citizens for being members of the Green Movement; of citizens holding hands in public, and other moral violations. I felt relieved to be living in the good old USA.

    The direction of the film was well executed. Every scene flowed well back to back. I was never confused. There were no jumbled ideas or flash forwards to make it more complicated. It was all straight forward story telling. The soundtrack was barely noticeable. When I decided to really listen to the soundtrack, it was emotionally appropriate for the scene presented. The acting was natural. I saw no "over acting". I believed every feeling that the actors played out. They were all sincere. The budget for this movie was $4,000,000.

    The main stars are Reece Ritchie and Freida Boniad who also starred in "Slumdog Millionaire" winning Best Picture of the Year.

    What is freedom worth? This film will make you think again about those freedoms that you take for granted living in America. I would show it to a class of High School students to give them an introduction to life in the Middle East. And, because the story revolves around University level students and their problems and lifestyles, I would think that people in the ages of 19-35 years would most identify with this film. But older people who have followed the Mid East conflict will enjoy it too for this play out of everyday life there. It is for anyone who would like to visit a foreign country (safely) for a short time.

    After seeing this movie, I would never, ever want to live in Iran. They have these women who check the female University students as they enter through the front gates of the University for "too much cosmetics" each morning. They will wipe the face of the student with a cotton pad! There are Morality Police that look to see that a student is carrying the "right books" under their arms. They will grab the books out of the arms of the students to take a look! They trespass into student homes and search! How demeaning! They prohibit two people from holding hands in public. Now, this is an eye opener for any High School Student in America. And yet, the Iranians are computer literate and they drive modern cars. These contrasts are great ones for American or European eyes.

    I have a critical eye for dancing and professional visuals. When I say that this film is good, believe it. The "wow" in this movie is in the dancing. The "wow" is seen in the conservative customs of this Islamic society.

    I got my monies worth and I do recommend this film to anyone. There is no bad language; but there is some violence. There are times when you will be closing your eyes in defense; but there are many more times that you will be experiencing beauty wrapped delicately in a personal and tragic story. It has a heartwarming ending.
  • I viewed this movie after hearing about it through a friend. It didn't seem like a film I would usually be interested in after seeing some of the reviews from critics and users, but I gave it a chance anyway.

    I was very impressed, the story was great, the fact that it was based on a true story, and political facts made the film more put together and gave it a lot of depth.

    A lot of work and studying was put into this film, and I always give acclaim to those in the film industry who try hardest to put a story out there that is meant to be heard and for that reason I rate the film a 10.

    Definitely recommend everyone to see it, this is in no way a "boring" film.
  • If you like dance movies, this is for you.

    It's comparable to the best true-story dance movies like 'Mao's Last Dancer', 'Dancing Across Borders', and so on. If you liked those movies, you will love this.

    It's well cast, well acted, well danced, and very interesting and dramatic.

    I loved it!

    Highly recommended for dance-movie fans.

    The lead character is especially well cast, and he dances marvelously, with passion and beauty and skill, while also being an excellent actor.
  • This was a very well made film! After watching the movie, I learned a lot about Iran and their views on dancing.

    Pretty intense!

    The boy who played the role of Afshin Ghaffarian, the dancer, did an amazing job. Frieda Pinto also played a role in this movie, and was interesting to learn about her character. Everyone had their specific role in the movie, telling the story of what really happens there.

    Its a very wild thought to think about what it would be like to live away from home, and the type of lifestyle some people see in the middle east, where this takes place.

    If you like interesting stories that are true, you will love this movie!

    Hands down one of the more interesting movies i have ever seen.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I personally love this movie. It was so hard for me to believe that a country exists in this modern age that is so oppressive. This was a strong theme woven in a story about the love of expressing yourself through the arts, particularly through dance. My heart hurts that there are people that would literally beat other human beings to death simply because another chooses to use the talents God has given them. If there are ANY oppressed people reading this- wake up! talents are divine. Those gifts were given for you to use them, not hide them away. I don't care what religion you believe, I have found the "golden rule" to be present in almost every different type of "holy book" that exists. Treating others kindly and with love. If a government is suppressing it's people, it will continue to fail and make it's people miserable. Only after all people can unite in a loving way can success occur. This is what I got from the political standpoint. I agree with what another author wrote... this is probably an outlawed film in Iran. Anyone writing contrary is very likely a political extremist, or doesn't appreciate freedoms and arts very much. As for the dance- it was so beautifully performed and so powerful. If you're not connected to the arts, it may be hard to feel emotionally tied to this film, and that's okay. It's still worth watching and reflecting how grateful you can be that if you chose to dance, you can live happily and not worry about being killed for it. I know I personally feel extreme gratefulness for my country and all countries that are free and have governments that treat their citizens humanely. I wish freedoms for all those that want them, and humbling, understanding and forgiveness for those who want control. I appreciate the boldness of the director for making this film. It is an important piece. Thank you.
  • SuzyCayenne15 February 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    I wanted to like this film, because it really is a compelling (and true) story.

    But there was too much wrong with it. The overly melodramatic presentation (and music--can you say Steven Spielberg on a really bad day?) seriously took away from what could have been a truly human drama. The lead actress was so boringly humorless and the whole struggle-with-her-junkiedom so overdone that it was hard to have any sympathy for either her, or anyone who put up with her! and why was the dude from Downton Abbey playing an Iranian, in such unconvincing fashion? It's not like there aren't LOTS of really good actors from that region! The takeaway? Maybe someone should make a documentary on the subject matter.
  • The content of this movie is soft and 1/100 of the sad reality of youth living in that godforsaken country. if the catch you laughing/dancing/singing they beat you & call you whores. While the real animals basiji and their whores, get paid to torture and kill young boys and girls. this is our reality for 37 years. I left and anyone who could left. If you stay, you become depressed, put in prison or drug addict. that is what the ayatollahs want. watch this film and feel lucky that most basic human rights like enjoying music is not taken away from you
  • fmwongmd11 September 2018
    Intense dancing uninspired acting gets uninteresting after awhile.
  • The ONLY reason I had any interest in watching this was because Nazanin Boniadi (Fara from "Homeland") was in this. According to IMDb, she had top billing. So I figured, sure, I'll watch it. After all, even if the movie isn't very good, Nazanin is hot, so that would make up for it to some extent. NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!! NB is only in one scene at the very beginning for about a minute. Yes! About a minute of screen time. Time it! Somehow IMDb believes she was going to get top billing for that. In the actual credits of the movie, she gets 4th billing. I don't know how she got such high billing for so little screen time.

    The movie itself was a frickin' bore fest. Snooze fest. Call it whatever you want. It wasn't good. Watching paint dry would've been better, because at least you expect it to be boring if you watch paint dry, and nobody is saying Nazanin Boniadi is going to be staring in "watch paint dry." I know Iran has a very repressive regime, but couldn't they have made it about something more worthwhile? Nope. It had to be made about these people in the movie not being allowed to dance. I guess the sequel might be about them not being able to brush with Crest, or not be able to buy Hebrew National Hot Dogs. I don't know. All I can say is, if there's a sequel made, there won't be a sequel played in my computer.

    I gave this a 2-star rating. One star for the one minute Nazanine Boniadi was actually in the movie. The other star is for the talent it took to bore the heck out of me. Believe it or not, that does count as a talent, but not one anyone in this film should be proud of.
  • This piece of political trash is so hilariously made to trash Iran and it's people and government - as to be laughable.

    Considering the history of Persia (Iran) this movie would have made "yellow journalist" William Randolph Hearst giddy! In 1951 Mohammed Mossadeg was Time's Man of the year .. and garnered a front page spread: http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19520107,00.html As Kermit Roosevelt brags on the Cia.gov web page, Kermit was in charge of bombing schools, churches and blaming it on Mossadeq! The reason for this terrorism: Mossadeq wanted to use some of Iran's oil revenues to improve his country! British Petroleum would have none of that .. and the "terror" started. Moosadeq was overthrown, and the Shah of Iran placed in charge of the county - and the secret police "The Savak" ruled Iran with extreme terror for decades. That is the historical perspective which this movie glosses over, making it such a piece of propaganda trash! On the one hand the CIA installed Shah .. killed and tortured hundreds of thousands of Iranians - on the other hand the vicious government they have now disallows dancing! What a tragedy that Movies like this get funded!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The dance scenes were very nice and attractive but the dialog and other story was a bit exaggeration!