‘Lantouri': Berlin Review

An eye for an eye—literally.

One of a many original, outspoken voices in immature Iranian cinema, writer-director Reza Dormishian raises a stakes high in Lantouri, a dignified story so profoundly intolerable it is scarcely unfit to watch. The story of an unhinged squad member who courts a pleasing amicable activist, deluding himself that she earnings his feelings, ends in a misfortune approach probable for both parties. After a nervously irritable hour of witty montage, a film turns a dim dilemma of an poison attack, whose striking after-effects are not for a faint-hearted. The visible and romantic punishment continues in a relentless final scenes of legal atonement that will have many of a assembly enslaved underneath their seats and seeking themselves about a fascinating boundary of onscreen violence. While Dormishian’s bravery and talent are not in doubt, he has substantially crossed a line over what an assembly can pretty be approaching to stomach. Of march he’s not alone in jacking adult a assault – take Tarantino, for instance – though a fear fest in Lantouri is too picturesque to pass as merely “cartoonish”. It is deeply upsetting cinema, tough to uncover outward of festivals.

The other problem is that a mostly shining screenplay is all over a place, perplexing to do too many things during once and losing concentration as a result. Women’s rights, religious/legal obtuseness, a absolved and impecunious classes, crime and punishment, adore and betrayal—it’s tough to find a categorical thesis amid all a options. 

The film starts where Dormishian left off with his harmful amicable critique of contemporary Iran, I’m Not Angry! The same dual actors, Navid Mohammadzadeh and Baran Kosari, reappear as members of a Lantouri squad that is terrorizing Tehran. They start by purse snatching and mugging abounding kids in imagination cars, afterwards ensue to hidden a cars, extortion, blackmail, abduction and drugs. They strut down a streets of a city brandishing switchblades, daggers and kitchen knives. One day Pasha, maniacally played by Mohammadzadeh in another fantastic performance, loses control and kills a designated victim. Then he cries over what he’s done.

Baroon (Kosari during her comic best) is a harlot incited hardened gangster, and she’s madly in adore with a crazy guy. But from a impulse he falls for detached publisher Maryam (Maryam Palizban), he doesn’t know she exists. Maryam is facetiously introduced as a well-meaning amicable romantic from an elegant family. She has launched a “No to Violence” campaign, and her organisation attempts to convince a kin of victims of aroused crime to pardon a perpetrators, so they won’t hang. Dormishian ably toys with a audience’s merciful sentiments and magnetism for a bleeding-hearted firebrand.

But what if a crime was so iniquitous and vicious that no excuses were possible? An conflict that blinded and horribly crippled an trusting woman, for no other reason than, “If we can’t have you, no one can”? Skillfully skating behind and onward between jaunty comedy and vast tragedy, a second half of a film jolts viewers into re-examining their consciences and magnanimous ideas.

But it doesn’t finish there. Iran’s Islamic law is resolutely confirmed in a lex talionis or law of retaliation. “An eye for an eye” means a plant of a crime is certified to press for a punishment that corresponds to his injury. Well, for those who had problem examination James Bond strapped to a handling chair in Spectre while pointy needles cavalcade into his head, be warned that it’s unsound credentials for a film’s final, intolerable scene, one that drives home a problem of truly forgiving violence.

The whole story is told from a dizzying array of viewpoints in a array of rapid-fire, on-camera interviews with people from several walks of life – a worried operative man, a bespectacled liberal, a student, a judge, a lawyer, a cleric, etc. The outcome is a coyly comic debate de force that keeps a gait breathless. 


Cast: Navid Mohammadzadeh, Maryam Palizban, Baran Kosari, Mehdi Kooshki, Bahram Afshan, Reza Behbudi, Behnaz Jafari, Parivash Nazarieh, Nader Fallah, Ardeshir Rostami

Director, screenwriter, producer: Reza Dormishian

Director of photography: Ashkan Ashkani

Production designer: Mohsen Nasrollahi

Costume designer: Golnaz Golshan

Editor: Hayedeh Safiyari

Music: Keyhan Kalhor

World sales: Iranian Independents  

Venue: Berlin Film Festival (Panorama)

115 minutes

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