Monday, December 10, 2007

Offside (2006)

The King of Shit Mountain is supposedly written on one of the few characters introduced (besides the guards and ladies) on his head as he is transported to the Vice Squad in a van with the ladies. He complains about this but in the end they become friends.

A handful of girls struggle to make their way into the man's world of an Iranian soccer stadium in this comedy from writer and director Jafar Panahi. World Cup season is just around the corner, and Iran's team is playing a game against Bahrain that will determine who will be competing in soccer's greatest tournament. Nearly everyone in Tehran seems to be abuzz with excitement over the game, through officially soccer in Iran is quite literally for men only -- no women are allowed inside the stadium, and women's interest in the game is severely frowned upon. But that doesn't stop a number of girls from all over the city from trying to crash the game dressed up as boys; while some succeed, others are unable to fool security, and are sent to a holding bullpen in the stadium where they can hear the cheers of the crowd but can't see the game. One of the policemen watching over the girls (who range from rowdy tomboys to quiet and bookish types) is sympathetic and keeps them updated on the score and key plays, while another is a petty bureaucrat who suffers the mockery of his "prisoners." Offside received its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Running Time: 92 mins
Offside (2006)

I am bu the sea. If I can't eat fresh fish, at least give it to me canned.Yummy that is what the heroine says to the guard when asking for another guard to give a sports report on the game. And the guard responds back with: I don't get it. Do you want to eat fish or watch soccer? He was from the "country".

When you have a society that is so regimented with so many morality rules, then something simple like going to the bathroom for the stowaway gets blown out shape. Which makes for a funny scene including the wearing of a poster of a man to disguise the face with cut outs for eyes.

This film got me to thinking about nationalism and patriotism. These girls even though they are repressed by their country on so many levels have such strong feelings about their 'team' that they are even willing to break the laws. One even dressed up like a soldier to get in. Luckily they got away in the crowds of the celebration (I believe), but at a couple of times they were fearful of what might happen to them.

The interview with the director Jafar Panahi was also a nice added feature of the DVD. Thus I rated this high as 4 (/5)

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