Thursday, July 05, 2007

Offside (2006)

****
Iran

Jafar Panahi's comparatively light though typically biting comedy about the arrest of a bunch of teenage girls attempting to sneak into a major football match in Tehran's Azadi Stadium. There is a subtle, subversive trace of optimism to it - an element previously absent from Panahi's work. It ends on a note of unlikely though ferocious celebration, hinting at a bubbling, left-field rebellion. There isn't a false note in the performances of the young women and non-professional Safdar Samandar as the bewildered soldier assigned to guard them.

dir: Jafar Panahi
wr: Jafar Panahi, Shadmehr Rastin
cast: Sima Mobarak-Shahi, Shayesteh Irani, Ayda Sadeqi, Golnaz Farmani, Mahnaz Zabihi, Nazanin Sediq-Zadeh, Melika Shafahi, Safdar Samandar

2 Comments:

At 7:52 PM , Blogger Paul Martin said...

I always find it odd when seeing this film described as a comedy. Perhaps that was initiated by the marketing people. I thought it was pure social commentary that happened to be light and funny at times.

Quite a remarkable achievement, particularly when you consider that the footage of the celebrating crowd at the end was real.

Panahi is my favourite Iranian director, and his The Circle my favourite Iranian film.

 
At 9:20 AM , Blogger Y Kant Goran Rite said...

But pure social commentary doesn't automatically discount it as a comedy - though it could probably be comfortably approached as both comedy and/or drama. And the fact that Panahi filmed this while the real match was taking place is indeed mind-boggling.

He's also my favourite Iranian director, though my favourite of his films is The White Balloon. The Circle I also appreciated but it's a movie that I need to see again.

 

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