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Men at Work (2006)
"Kargaran mashghoole karand" (original title)

6.8
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A political allegory on four middle-class guys who pile into their car for a ski weekend. A brief stop at a picturesque vista leads to their chance discovery of a prominent rock formation it seems would be oh so easy to tip over, but...

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Title: Men at Work (2006)

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Sahar
Ahmad Hamed ...
Mammad
...
Mohsen
Reza Kianian ...
Jalil
Fatemah Motamed-Aria ...
Mina
Atila Pesiani ...
Morteza
Omid Roohani ...
Nader
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A political allegory on four middle-class guys who pile into their car for a ski weekend. A brief stop at a picturesque vista leads to their chance discovery of a prominent rock formation it seems would be oh so easy to tip over, but...

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28 March 2006 (USA)  »

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Men at Work  »

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Not exactly memorable...and not for all tastes
5 February 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a film which is best described as an Absurdist fantasy in which an entirely ridiculous situation is played absolutely straight. Now when I say "Absurdist", I do not mean like BUFFET FROID or something by Luis Buñuel--where events get weirder and weirder as the movie progresses. Instead, there is an initially ridiculous plot point and the rest of the film seems normal--except that the point that brings everything together is just insane.

The absurd aspect of the plot is just a very large rock by the side of the road and as a group of middle aged men are returning home through the Iranian mountains, they happen upon it and spend the rest of the film trying to dislodge it--all for no particular reason. At first, it starts as a whim and later is becomes practically a holy mission to one of them and they suffer exceedingly--just to dislodge a stupid rock! The rock, if you haven't guessed, is just an excuse to bring these men together and allow their personalities to be gradually exposed as the film progress. This isn't a bad idea and the acting is pretty good. The problem for me is just that the tiny idea after a while just isn't enough to hold my attention. I really think this might have worked better if it had been perhaps 45 minutes instead of 78. Still, a noble experiment and it was certainly different.

A few final thoughts. I'm one of the few Americans out there that has seen quite a few Iranian films and I have never disliked any of them--and loved a few (particularly CHILDREN OF HEAVEN and THE COLOR OF PARADISE). What has amazed me most about the films is how like us the Iranian people are--despite the rhetoric you see in news reports. The same conflicts, desires for freedom and love of family unite them that unite Westerners. Hopefully, at some point, we'll all recognize these commonalities and stop all the distrust. This isn't a political statement--just a desire for us all to get along and realize we're all God's children. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now.


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