A 40 year old man who has celebrated his birthday alone by
himself invites his four lovers to a dance class that he teaches
in order to search for the roots of his own loneliness and
by reminiscing the memories of how each of his love affairs
were evolved and diminished, he realizes that the more the
contemporary world has become sexually oriented the farther
it has moved away from love.
a title like this, this film is only inviting people to have
sensuously visual thoughts in their minds. But no, not only
will this Iranian/Tajikistan (a mountainous area in Central
Asia which shares culture and history with Iran) film disappoint
those hoping to see some skin; it will blast them away with
its philosophical structure.
all you dirty-minded readers: You should have seen it coming
with its “PG” film classification. And to all
you readers out there: Here is an early warning that this
film is definitely a difficult one to watch.
itself already makes people want to throw a big fat “pretentious”
label on it.
instructor decides to “revolt against himself”
(this has to be one of the most ostentatious present to give
yourself) on his lonely 40th birthday. He asks his four lovers
to his dance studio to talk about their affairs, how they
went through passion, possession and spent time together.
Interspersed are philosophical dialogue exchanges, philosophical
dance movements courtesy of the four lovers, and philosophical
concepts about love that may turn the average movie-watcher
speaks better than examples, so this review shall give you
a sample excerpt from the film, to provide a clearer picture
of what you would be in for, should you decide to play this
disc at a party to entertain your guests.
protagonist tells a flight attendant on a plane in a flashback
sequence: “My mother has always told me to refuse two
things. The first was cold coffee. The second was a cold look.
What would you like?”
him in return: “Was your coffee cold?”
present, cue a Latino-inspired soundtrack score, and the man
lifts up a red curtain to say: “It was hot.”
the next thing you know, the flight attendant sways across
the screen in her dancing outfit, twirling her fingers in
the air gracefully and says:” I brought you hot coffee.”
The abovementioned dialogue exchange is carried out in the
most serious manner, and you’d feel that there is something
truly important and philosophical about it.
of this kind litter themselves throughout the film, and they
will only leave you puzzled and clueless if you were initially
thinking of watching something entertaining and enjoyable.
are people who would enjoy this film, they would be the poets.
We’d think that poets are the only people who can appreciate
the lyrical currents running throughout the film.
is also a whole load of symbolism in the 105-minute movie,
ranging from candles, carved trees and stopwatches, to falling
leaves, elegant dance movements and red wines. We are sure
all these items are supposed to represent something which
contributes to the theme of the story.
is the theme of the story?
our guess that only director Mohsen Makhmalbaf has the answer
to this mind-boggling question. We can only be open to all
kind of interpretations that anyone comes up with, that is,
if anyone bothered at all.
seemingly pointless review appears to paint a picture where
people would not be able to subscribe to this film’s
approach. But to put it in a more sophisticated manner, we’d
say this film is for those with “acquired taste”
The visual transfer makes cinematographer Ebrahim Ghafori’s
luscious red curtains and golden yellow autumn leaves look
extra pretty, while the disc offers Tajik Dolby Digital 2.0
and 5.1 for you to immerse yourself in the film’s philosophical
are no extra features on this Code 3 DVD, although it may
have been helpful for someone, anyone at all, to shed some
light on what the film is trying to get at.
DVD RATING :
by John Li