Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Iran, 2003. Jafar Panahi Film Productions. Screenplay by Abbas Kiarostami. Cinematography by Hossein Jafarian. Produced by Jafar Panahi. Music by Peyman Yazdanian. Production Design by Iraj Raminfar. Film Editing by Jafar Panahi.
The robbery of a jewelry store that ends in a murder-suicide opens this absorbing film by Jafar Panahi, which then goes back several days and tells the story behind the crime. It is that of a pizza delivery man in Tehran named Hussein who is getting married to his best friend’s sister and has very little money with which to begin their new life together. We watch several of his deliveries as he unwittingly walks into a police surveillance of an illegal party (which then forces him him to stay and lose his delivery), runs into a former commander of his in the army, and, finally and most fascinating, delivers to a supremely wealthy bachelor in a high-rise building who lives in a veritable palace. The film delivers its message of class distinction and injustice with the subtlety of a bull in a china shop, but what a great animal it is to watch crash through the luxury. It features the long, meditative scenes that Panahi has developed well throughout his career, but it is never boring and always pushes your emotional buttons. Hossain Emadeddin is particularly mesmerizing in the lead, a non-professional actor who is actually a pizza delivery man and a worthy subject for a film.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2003