Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Report (1977 film)

Written and directed by Abbas Kiarostami, The Report is the story about a Ministry of Finance civil servant being accused of taking bribes as he’s also dealing with a crumbling marriage. Starring Shoreh Aghdashloo, Kurosh Afsharpanah, Mehdi Montazar, Mostafa Tari, and Hasem Arkan. The Report is a captivating drama from Abbas Kiarostami.

The film is a simple story about a civil servant working for Iran’s Ministry of Finance as he spends a lot of his time doing work until he’s been accused of taking bribes where he’s suspended. Adding to his problem is a crumbling marriage as he often spend his time socializing with friends as she’s stuck at home while their rent is overdue and couldn’t get money for car repairs. Eventually, something has to give as the man is forced to face realities of his world and the issues in his marriage. While there’s not much plot to the story, Abbas Kiarostami plays into a man trying to do good but is often quite selfish at times while lets his pride get in the way of things. Even as he creates chaos in both his professional and personal life where the latter becomes far more troubling when his wife threatens to leave him and taking their baby with her.

Kiarostami’s direction is quite simple but also understated in the way he explores the drama. While he doesn’t go for a lot of stylish camera movements nor create scenes that is driven by dialogue. He does manage to create something where it is about a man striving to do right though he would often make bad decisions that would impact both his life and his job. Going for that realistic visual style that recalls elements of cinema verite, Kiarostami creates scenes that do play a sense of realism in the drama though there are moments where nothing happens and drags the film a bit. Still, there is that sense of emotional impact in the third act when it plays to a dramatic moment that finally unveils what this man is dealing with and the actions for some of his irresponsibility. Overall, Kiarostami creates an engaging drama that explores a man’s pride and the trouble that he endures.

Cinematographer Ali Reza Zarrindast does nice work with the film‘s cinematography where it plays into a very realistic look where it‘s shot on location in Iran while using low-key lights for the some of interior and exterior settings at night. Editor Mahtalat Mirfenderski does terrific work with the editing as it‘s mostly straightforward with a few rhythmic cuts to intensify the drama. Set designer Ahmad Mirshekan does wonderful work with the look of the apartment of the man and his wife as well as the office building he works at. Sound engineer Yousef Shahab does superb work with the sound to capture everything on location including the intimate moments at home.

The film’s cast includes some remarkable performances from Mehdi Montazar and Mostafa Tari as a couple of co-workers in the building and Hasem Arkan as a man who made claims about the bribery. Kurosh Afsharpanah is excellent as Mahmad Firuzkui as a man who gets in trouble over his work as he is dealing with the turmoil in his life including his troubled marriage. Finally, there’s Shoreh Aghdashloo in a brilliant performance as Mahmad’s wife as a woman who feels constrained at home as she becomes upset over his irresponsibility as well as some of the trouble he endures that would lead her to make some drastic decisions.

The Report is a stellar film from Abbas Kiarostami that features a superb performance from Shoreh Aghdashloo. While it’s a very intriguing film that explores life before the 1979 Iranian Revolution as well as some of the drama that a man goes through. It’s also a film that plays into Kiarostami’s fascination with life itself as well as a man trying to overcome the difficulties of life. In the end, The Report is a very good film from Abbas Kiarostami.

Abbas Kiarostami Films: (The Experience) - The Traveler - (A Wedding Suit) - (First Case, Second Case) - (Fellow Citizens) - (First Graders) - Where is the Friend’s House? - Homework (1989 film) - Close-Up - Life and Nothing More… - Through the Olive Trees - Taste of Cherry - (The Wind Will Carry Us) - (ABC Africa) - (Ten) - (Five) - (10 on Ten) - (Shirin) - Certified Copy - Like Someone in Love - 24 Frames

© thevoid99 2013

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