Gorjestani's screenplay is a thing of beauty.
Review by: MiamiMovieCritic
Added: 4 years ago
Directed by Mohammad Gorjestani, The Shade is a beautifully filmed parable set in present-day Iran. A man from the city named Javad (Ebi Mohseni) has a blowout in a tiny settlement outside Tehran. There, he meets a boy (Aryan Atri) who's saving the money he makes selling balloons to buy ice-cream. A fig seller, Parvaneh (Shaghayegh Mohammadali), gives Javad an umbrella. Javad ends up taking her spot on the bus out of town. Later, when he returns to the town, he learns that the bus Parvaneh took crashed into a hillside. The movie ends with a scene between Javad and an old man (Shahryar Yamini) as they talk about the concept of chance.
Gorjestani's screenplay is a thing of beauty. Every scene counts. His use of Iran's native language gives an air of authenticity a story that’s set in Iran but was filmed in Vancouver.
I think one of the keys to the film’s success is Mohammadali’s performance as Parvaneh. She makes a big impression in the early scenes, and we think back on them with sadness when we learn of Parvaneh’s fate. Atri is a naturalistic child actor. He has good repertoire with the actor who plays his father, Ahmad Sharmru.
The Shade falls into the category of subtle Iranian-made films like Jafar Panahi's The Circle. It lacks the punk-rock style of Persepolis. But the story has wider meanings, and if it serves to humanize a country that’s often demonized, then all for the better.