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This character-based, symbolically-heavy, mesh of reality and fiction explores Death with the eye of wisdom and the fear of old men close to the grave. The dialogue is mostly deep, funny, meaningful & clever. The story & script are well constructed although the exploration of death & friendship are better done that the backdrop themes of family & country.
The writer/director Bahman Farmanara as well as the lead actor Reza Kianian were of attendance to present this well-received film. Both showed considerable skill into making this picture rise above in both content & presentation. The acting of the two old writer friends reunited after 38 years is of high caliber and comes across the screen effortlessly, efficiently, passively, powerfully. This is an actor film, yet this is also undeniably a writer's film with a palpable, reasonable vision of death. The directing and editing (both visual & sound) are the last crucial element in mixing story lines and giving interesting parallels that flow narratively. This was done remarkably well and added to the overall feel of mystery and anticipation/dread of the film.
The story's ending did not seem to quite fulfill the tall order this strong film had set itself up to accomplish, yet it is not a mishit and does not take away anything from the better part of the film, only it does not add much either. It is a denouement that unfolds without quite inspiring and without the impact and potency of earlier dialogues. It unwinds from the intense elusive intriguing high point and descends to the more mundane. A resolutionless departure would have made this much better in my eyes. The only thing that seemed to potentially redeem the end is the final shot of the movie.
Nonetheless, the charisma of the actors and of the film itself is worth seeking this one out. The multi-level message, the real-life reflections, the delicious humour, the search for meaning, the seeking of oneself, the transient understanding, the self-worth, the acceptance of fate & death, are all reasons why this movie will reach you one way or the other.
Complex. Creative. A thoughtful film.
Film: YEK BOUS-E KOUCHOULOU, 2006 / 35 mm / Color / 100 min, Director: Bahman Farmanara, Country: Iran, Schedule: 28 August 2006 19:00 THÉATRE MAISONNEUVE TM.28.1
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