Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Circumstance (Persian)

Set in modern day Tehran in Iran, this beautiful story focuses on two attractive rebellious high school friends. The girls dare to dream in an otherwise orthodox world. Watching this film definitely opened up my mind a little bit about some of the notions that I had about women in Iran. But at the same time there was so much hype around this film, that it ended up turning out low on those. This is what happened earlier too. I think that is why it is very important to watch films without expectations because they tend to surprise you quite a bit.

Atafeh is a privileged daughter of an educated well to do family but her friend Shireen is not so lucky. Despite this they are very good friends. Over a period of time they have learnt about the vibrant maze of underground parties where they can be free, head uncovered, drinking, dancing, skin show. They once in a while have also defied the morality police and are enjoying and having fun. One night Shireen tells Atafeh that she loves her very much and they soon cross the boundaries of their friendship. When Atafeh’s brother, Mehran, returns home with newly fundamentalist views, the once-liberal haven of the family home is transformed into a scary place where secrets can no longer be contained. When the police threatens to put the girls behind bars for immorality, Atafeh gets support of her parents but there is no one for Shireen. She agrees to marrying Mehran who now likes her but soon we know that he knows about the relations between his wife and sister. He starts to become controlling. Atafeh confronts Shireen on why she is doing all this but all she can tell her is that she wants to live. Atafeh can't take it any more and being the rebel that she is plans to escape to Dubai hoping for a better world for herself.

Circumstance is an intriguing film on multiple levels, examining not just gender and sexual orientation, but also class in contemporary Iran. Though frank in its portrayal, it is still shocking to see some of the scenes on the film. Apparently after making the film, the director is no longer allowed to go back to Iran, which is such a shame. The 2 girls are absolutely beautiful and their struggle with society, with themselves and each other is portrayed beautifully. My problem with the film was that it tried to cover too many things in the film. It is unclear if Shireen’s husband’s descent into fanaticism is an allegory for government oversight or patriarchal control. Acting of every character is interesting and good. It was intriguing to watch something so different between different cultures and countries.

A nice film, definitely worth watching for its simple and complicated at the same time. (6.5/10)

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