Saturday, July 30, 2022

Family Road Trip

Hit the Road (2021) - Panahi Hit the Road Hit the Road Hit the Road Hit the Road Hit the Road Hit the Road Hit the Road Hit the Road Hit the Road Hit the Road A family, mom (Pantea Panahiha), dad (Hasan Majuni), older son (Amin Simia), younger son (Rayan Sarlak) and sick dog are on the road in a borrowed SUV, in a picturesque Iranian countryside. Yet this is not a joyous family vacation. Something is up. Mom is overly paranoid thinking that they are being followed. Dad with one leg in a cast changes the phone's SIM card every so often. They do so while dealing with their hyperactive 8 year-old son who is just a bundle of energy and joy. The older son, whose been driving, rarely says a word. He is moody as he chastizes his doddering mom that he is not a child anymore.

It turns out that they are going to the border to see the older son off, as he is entangled in something the Iranian State deemed as unlawful. And the parents have been telling the younger son that his brother is going abroad to get married - a not-so-convincing lie that might be adding to his hyperactive state. On their journey, they meet people, talk to each other and share some magical moments together.

Panah Panahi, the son a famed Iranian filmmaker and democracy activist, Jafar Panahi, who was just sentensed 6 years in jail for criticizing the theocratic Iranian regime, makes a beautiful film here in the tradition of 'moving pictures', that usually take place in a car, of Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry, The Wind Will Carry Us) and his dad (This is Not a Film, Taxi) that emphasizes time passing and fleeting human life on earth. Hit the Road boasts perhaps the most memorable child acting in recent memory- by Sarlak as an adorable rascal. His joyful presence peaks out over the overall somber tone of the film that hangs like low lying clouds. His joy is infectious. It also features gorgeous rural Iranian vistas, humor, magical realism (relating to 2001: Space Odyssey) and poetry. It's a short, life affirming film that lingers long after watching.

No comments:

Post a Comment