8.6/10
10,026
12 user 20 critic

The Lizard (2004)

Marmoulak (original title)
A recently jailed petty thief disguises as a Mullah and succeeds in escaping; but has to stay in the Mullah' role longer than he expected to.

Director:

Kamal Tabrizi
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4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Parviz Parastui ... Reza Marmoulak
Bahram Ebrahimi Bahram Ebrahimi ... (as Bahram Ibrahimi)
Shahrokh Foroutanian Shahrokh Foroutanian ... Hajji Reza Ahmadi
Farideh Sepah Mansour Farideh Sepah Mansour ... Motazedi's Mother
Maedeh Tahmasebi Maedeh Tahmasebi ... Ozra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ali Abedini Ali Abedini ... Jackson
Ra'na Azadivar Ra'na Azadivar ... Fayezeh (as Rana Azadvar)
Cyrus Hemati Cyrus Hemati ... Mojtaba
Farzin Mohades Farzin Mohades ... The Soldier with Sunglasses
Mehran Rajabi Mehran Rajabi ... Shojaei
Soheyla Razavi Soheyla Razavi ... Fayezeh's Mother
Sepehr Rezanoor Sepehr Rezanoor ... The boy
Reza Saeedi Reza Saeedi ... Atef
Naqi Seif-Jamali Naqi Seif-Jamali ... Mr. Fazli
Hossein Soleimani Hossein Soleimani ... Gholamali
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Storyline

Satirical commentary on clergymen in post-revolutionary Iran. While in prison, petty criminal Reza (Parviz Parastui) comes across a clergyman, sparking a plan for escape. Reza dons his new acquaintance's clerical robes and makes a bid for freedom. He soon learns that being a clergyman brings little respect from the public. Reza travels to the outlying villages, from where he plots to escape the country. However, his plans must be put on hold when the villagers accept him into their community and expect him to perform religious duties. Will Reza's prison break transform him into an unlikely pillar of the community? Written by IMVBox.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

IMVBox.com | sourehcinema

Country:

Iran

Language:

Persian

Release Date:

24 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lizard See more »

Filming Locations:

Tehran, Iran See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Faradis See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2014, Turkish television channel ATV began airing a mini-series based on The Lizard. See more »

Quotes

Reza Marmoulak: There are as many ways to reach God as there are people in the world.
See more »

Connections

Remake of We're No Angels (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best Iranian movies, but for an Iranian audience
19 May 2005 | by sheydariSee all my reviews

Summary: One of the best Iranian movies ever made, but for an Iranian audience only.

Marmoulak is a political/social satire, but its comedy is subtle and better understood by an Iranian audience. I'd like to compare it to "Blazing Saddles", often cited by American movie watchers as one of the funniest movies ever made, while a non-American audience is only mildly amused by it. Cultural differences play a big role.

Marmoulak's power of humor lies in the comments, words, situations and overall behaviour of the characters, which are not always understandable to the non-Iranian crowd. For instance, many of the seemingly innocent comments in the movie are copied or distorted very cleverly from the political/religious slogans, speeches and actions of Iran's religious clergy. Those parts are easily identifiable and enjoyable by Iranians, while non-Iranians may not quite understand the subtlety of it.

That said, the movie is powerful, enjoyable and with brilliant acting. The story is quite simple and has been repeated in many forms before. A jailed thief seizes upon a chance encounter to escape from prison using the stolen clothes of a clergyman. With Prison's warden (depicted as a despotic maniac) after him, he escapes to a border village where the local people think he has been sent for preaching in their mosque. The rest of the movie depicts the thief's efforts to find a way across the border, while playing the role of an unconventional preachers who actually plays a huge role in the life of the villagers.

Parviz Parastooi plays the lead role in a breathtakingly magnificent way, and this fact is again only obvious to an Iranian audience who know exactly the class of people he is trying to portrait. The movie has a good pace; in contrast with other well known Iranian movies such as Kiarostami's and Panahi's works that are typically very slow. Dialogues are extremely clever.

Given 9 out of 10 by this reviewer.


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