Film & TV

Iranian Film Festival Review: Closed Curtain (Pardé)

Closed Curtain revels in its unpredictability. When you think you have a handle on its story, it completely stands everything on its head. At times moving, it also succeeds in building tension.

 

closed_curtain_1In movies anything is possible. What we see isn’t necessarily the truth with form and style always in play. Films are meant to challenge our perceptions with narrative flow something easily manipulated. Closed Curtain is a great example. Mirroring the works of English writer Dennis Potter – with a special nod to The Singing Detective Closed Curtain’s structure becomes crucial in uncovering its myriad of fascinating layers.

A screenwriter (Kambuzia Partovi) goes on the run with his dog. Banned by the Iranian government from having them as pets, he determines to keep his cherished four legged friend. Escaping to a remote villa, he lives in constant fear of being discovered. When two people arrive on his doorstep seeking sanctuary he allows them in. What follows is a mind-bending odyssey as he questions his sanity amidst a wave of paranoia and dread.

Closed Curtain revels in its unpredictability. When you think you have a handle on its story, it completely stands everything on its head. This isn’t a bad thing as it forces the viewer to carefully observe its characters. At times moving – especially when focussing on the screenwriter’s love for his pet – it also succeeds in building tension. You’re never quite sure what lies at the heart of his troubled soul with this question raising surprising answers.

To reveal any more would do a disservice as Closed Curtain is something best left for interpretation. What can be said is how the title becomes a metaphor to how the characters behave. As they attempt to break free of their insular lives – caused by fear, regret or anger – the barriers they put up slowly fade. It’s interesting how the initially simple tale turns into something so complex which is a mark of a solid script and strong direction.

Part social allegory and personal redemption, Closed Curtain is very intriguing. Whilst all of its connotations aren’t quite clear, it’s good watching a movie refusing to spoon feed viewers. Using your mind to unravel puzzles is always enjoyable with its lessons on freedom and moving on steadfastly standing out from the pack.

Reviewed by Patrick Moore

Rating out of 10: 8

 

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