Monday, 29 September 2008
Goin' In Blind #4 - Corrupted Hands
"Goin' In Blind is a series of reviews of movies that I had never heard of in any context before I picked them up off the (physical or virtual) DVD rental shelf.
The case said an "Iranian Comedy in the vein of Raising Arizona and Take The Money And Run!" Well, that's gotta be worth a look...
And though it was worth a look, that blurb was obviously written by someone who only saw a trailer. It does mix some comedic elements along with those from suspense/thrillers, heist films and melodramas, but it doesn't really succeed at any of them in the end. Even the comedy bits themselves are very far removed from the absurdities of those two films name-checked. Maybe, maybe, the wedding scene might have some silliness to it, but still...
The gist of the film is an interesting setup and much of it in the early stages is handled pretty well. A wedding photographer and his helpers plan to rob an upcoming lavish wedding ceremony - plans are made, details arranged and the theft is executed (though they go to no lengths at all to hide their identities). Unfortunately for the group, the photographer's soon-to-be father-in-law has had them tailed since he doesn't trust his daughter's fiancee. And his choice to tail them is an ex-con who, now that he has witnessed the robbery, wants a cut of the loot.
The story never seems to settle into a comfortable rhythm or tone. If it were going for full out absurdity, that would be fine. But it isn't. As a matter of fact, given the number of framing devices (doorframes, hallways, arches, cages, windows, mirrors, etc.) used by director Syrus Alvand within just about every scene, it felt that the film was trying very hard to use certain visual cues to make specific points - ie. attempting to show the separation between each of the characters and how they could essentially be alone when in the same room. As well, the extensive use of mirrors for individual reflections seemed to emphasize the uncertainties of the characters regarding many of the decisions made along the way.
And as mentioned above, the suspense was never overly heightened, the heist not particularly well pulled off and the melodrama came in bits and only amped up near the end. Overall, it kept me engaged with an interesting enough storyline and nice touches, but just wasn't sharp or decisive enough in any of its paths. Perhaps Alvand was also unsure of his own decisions...
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