Movie Review: The White Balloon

The films made in Iran are magnificient. These films are made by exceptionally talented filmmakers with each story, the editing, the cinematography tell so much about the lifestyles of people living in Iran. Recently, I had the opportunity to watch two back-to-back Iranian films on UTV World Movies. These films largely stand out because of their artistic superiority yet commercial viability.

Razieh wants a fat goldfish for the Iranian New Year celebrations instead of the skinny ones in her family's pond at home, because the fat fish looks like it's dancing when it swims. After several attempts, she and her brother convince their mother to give them her last bit of money. Between their home and the fish store, Razieh loses the money. She finds it, but it is temptingly just out of her reach. The money has fallen through the grate of the entrance to a store which has been closed for the New Year celebration. Razeih and her brother make several attempts to retrieve the money and receive assistance from many people.

These people are owners of the nearby shops and an Iranian soldier. The money, however, is always just out of reach. Finally, the siblings receive help from a street vendor selling balloons. He carries all of his balloons on a wooden stick, and has only one balloon left, a white one, left. The group then attaches a piece of chewing gum to one end of the balloon stick and with it, they reach down through the grate and pull the money up.

The White Balloon is the debut feature film of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, with an awesome screenplay by Iranian screenwriter and director Abbas Kiarostami. The movie is not very long with a running time of just 85 minutes. It is a film that will surely leave you delighted. Although the ending is debated, The White Balloon is well directed and I recommend you to watch it because it is a film that respects your intelligence. Films like these are very hard to find.


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