Sunday, January 15, 2012

OFFSIDE (2006)

Directed & Edited By: Jafar Panahi
Written By: Jafar Panahi & Shadmehr Restin
Cinematography By: Yuval Berazani & Korosh Bozorgpour

Cast: Sima Mobarak-Shahi, Shayesteh Ireni, Ayda Sadeqi, Golanz Parmani, Mahnaz Zabini

"Offside" is about a group of Iranian girls who attempts to enter Tehran's Azadi Stadium dressed as boys in order to watch a big football match but some get caught and arrested. After the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran, women are not allowed to enter the stadiums.

The women here are not very convincing dressed up like men, Some could pass. Here we follow a first timer tries and is caught and detained with other women. We get to see their passion for the sport. The camaraderie that develops between them. The hypocracy involvedin this law prohibiting women. Which even some of the men attending the game see as stupid or don’t really care.

It’s rare the movie that can involve social commentary and still be a light hearted comedy, But this movie succeeds and scores. This film involves characters you grow to love and are astonished at their rebellious nature. For what can be a trivial pastime but they are willing to layit all on the line for football or what we in America would call soccer. The beauty of this film is that even though it’s a dramedy. It feel s more like a documentary due to the realness. The camera work and the fact that it was filmed during an actual world cup qualifying match.

There is nothing outrageous it is more the comedy that comes from real life situations. I like the fact that the film doesn’t make anyone out to be evil or a villain. Even the guards who are there to reinforce the rules are three dimensional characters. Not one dimensional zealots, that you see a lot of times in a lot of other movies.

This is definately a must see. It’s not propaganda or a political film drowned in messages and symbolism. In fact if not for the politics involved this could be a nice breezy comedy. I mean it is rated PG after all.
An Addition to the home library.


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