Mardan (2014)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

Iraq, 2014.  Mijfilm Production.  Screenplay by Batin Ghobadi.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Film Editing by .  

Workers who frequently come to the tunnels of Iraqi Kurdistan to earn money (many of them from Turkey) are also frequently in danger of harm when they collect their pay and hit the road for home. One such case falls into the lap of a stony-faced, emotionless police officer investigating the death of a man who has gone missing after collecting his salary. We are introduced to the man’s wife, who arrives in search of him, as well as the culprit of the crime, whom we saw kill the victim in a night-time driving accident and leave him for dead, only to be wracked by guilt afterwards. What at first seems to be a mosaic of varying characters surrounding one devastating situation turns out to be a messy, badly directed collection of random events, compiled by a filmmaker who seems to be making it up as he goes along. A lack of charisma displayed by the lead character at the centre of the storm does not help much, particularly as his motivations are unreliable and his dedication to the case is questionable. It’s a frustrating conundrum of a film, right down the ill-fitting conclusion.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2014

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