Critic Reviews



Based on 24 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Here, love and attraction between two teenage girls put them on a collision course with Tehran society in general and one girl's troubled, increasingly religious brother in particular.
Overall this is an impressive debut from a filmmaker with something to say and the talent to say it.
Though it lacks the artful, headlong immediacy of "The Circle" and "Offside," Jafar Panahi's films about women in Tehran - and the breakneck exuberance of Bahman Ghobadi's "No One Knows About Persian Cats," about Tehran's underground music scene - Circumstance ripples with the indignant energy of youthful rebellion.
This is a movie about longing, desire, desperation and the abandonment of principle - quite a collection of themes, all universal.
Perhaps it's unfair to compare Circumstance to the very different "Persepolis," but it's hard not to drift off to Marjane Satrapi's more pungent and personally inflected evocation of the same terrain, in which the characters are as vivid as their surroundings.
Circumstance is best during its simpler, more naturalistic moments. In one, Mehran rebuffs a junkie who stumbles into the mosque, only to see that an Islamic hardliner is more compassionate.
Keshavarz's vision is clear and heartfelt, and everyone has an urgency in their eyes.
Slant Magazine
Since Mehran's embrace of hardline Islam is never dramatized or elaborated on in any insightful way.
Village Voice
Keshavarz's earnest, well-intentioned first feature on women's oppression in Iran has trouble resisting its own heavy hand.
The closer this parable inches toward tragedy, the more you can feel the gap between good intentions and generic exotica-grandstanding widening into an unbridgeable chasm.

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