Iran, UK, 2018
102 minutes, Color
Three people disenchanted with love navigate Tehran's appearances-obsessed singles landscape: Mina, an overweight receptionist at a beauty clinic; Vahid, a sad-sack singer for strangers' funerals; and Hessam, a tattooed but gentle bodybuilder. No spoilers here, but suffice to say that in this city everyone has an "uncle" pulling or jerking strings and everyone has a secret compulsion. This quirky film's dry, sometimes laugh-out-loud humor is enhanced by its striking visuals, especially the precise horizontality of its framing and the on-the-beat cutting that lets the joke (sometimes the pathos) sink in. Running gags—like the one about a famous French actor no one in Tehran has heard of—and chance encounters link the three character studies. There is magic here in the tender empathy we come to have for these lonely individuals. Look for an appearance by superstar Behnaz Jafari, whom everyone in Tehran has heard of. —Judy Bloch
In Farsi with English subtitles
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