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Parvaneh is suffering under the rule of her husband Mostafa, a
recovering drug addict who hasn't got a job who does nothing to keep the
household going but complains about her all the time. Also he's not the
best of neighbours, with many of the locals complaining about him. But his
son Kasra pretty much worships him, and he seems to love the boy, too -
until Parvaneh finds out he uses Kasra as a drug courier, as while he
might not be using anymore, he's still pushing, and in a way that pisses
many of his associates off. Eventually, Parvaneh and Mostafa get into an
argument that culminates with Mostafa falling down some stairs to his
death. This gets Parvaneh into a bit of an understandable panic, as she
knows she'll be accused of his murder whatever the truth. Heck, even Kasra
thinks her guilty at first and only refrains from calling the police as he
doesn't want to be sent to an orphanage should she be found guilty. So
Parvaneh keeps Mostafa's body in the basement on ice, and even drags him
to his bedroom when his mother comes for a visit, knowing she wouldn't
dare waking up her son. She also throws cigarette buds out the window onto
the street, even though she doesn't smoke, just because Mostafa did the
same. When she finds his stash, she also manages to feed off his most
persistent customers. And she rides round the neighbourhood in his clothes
on his motorbike, just to give the illusion he's still around. Kasra, who
at first hated his mom for what she did (in his eyes), slowly comes round
to seeing things from her perspective and helps her keep up the pretense.
And the longer this is going on, the more Parvaneh's self confidence
inflates until she starts taking actual steps towards independence ...
film is several things at once, social drama and commentary, crime
thriller, plea for female empowerment ... and even dark comedy - and above
all it's a pretty wonderful movie as it manages to escape all the
trappings the story offers by default, it's neither too sentimental nor
downright sad, neither does it in the violence department nor goes
gruesome (for shock or comedy value), instead tells its story in a very
natural way. And a directorial effort steeped in realism and devoid of all
spectacle helps here, as do very natural and grounded performances, all
making this a pretty awesome movie.