On paper, this sounds like it would be fascinating. On the one hand a Kafkaesque journey through the vagaries of the Iranian legal system, and on the other a tone poem on revenge, forgiveness and justice. But what winds up on the screen is just. . . Zzzzzzzzz. Not only do the scenes lack oomph, but, and I say this with a little embarrassment, it is *very* difficult to follow. I think the film assumes the viewer is familiar with the Iranian legal code and Shariah law. I’m all for a film immersing me in another culture, but a little guidance, please.
Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.
He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.