Please pardon my ignorant Hakka ass if you find this review culturally insensitive - but I do know a thing or two about movies and this is what I believe. When I read that the director for Cease Fire (2006) @ آتش بسis Tahmineh Milāni the foremost feminist face of Iran to the Western world, I knew that the film would be difficult to watch. Jailed for her socio-political activism, I foresaw 120-odd minutes of gender politickin, thinly veiled behind a rom-com settin of urban Iran. Bad news on the doorstep:
"If you love me, I kill you."
Never would I expect that it was much was much worse – Milani did not even achieve her ideological projection through the film, at least to this reviewer. Her idea of pairin pretty faces Mohammad Reza Golzar and Mahnaz Afshar in a mainstream release is reported to have gone down, at one point, as the best sellin movie in Iranian history, although I wouldn’t be able to verify this. What is certain though is that Cease Fire is one of the most intolerable “good” movies that I have ever come across, in the sense that it is technically sound and yet conceptually difficult to watch. Not that we could complain of not bein able to understand Farsi – the subtitles seem competent enough (although a cat-and-mouse analogy involvin the Chinese Year Of The Cat is suspect). It’s simply the sheer tedium of havin to watch a couple play out the unbelievable premise that the two are together still despite hatin each other so very, very much. For a rom-com to sustain itself, we need to root for its characters or understand the motivation behind their actions. Here we are put through endless scenes of ridiculous domestic squabbles, so much so that it stretches film logic.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
If one could bear with such reckless story-tellin, challenge yourself further by learnin how this movie’s credits mention how it is based on an Italian self-help book, “Recovery Of Your Inner Child”, and goes on the extremely literal approach of expoundin it. Sayeh and Yousef goin about cuttin up each other’s clothes and sawin off their matrimonial bed in two isn’t only outrageously childish – it represents a diversion that discredits the story. Cease Fire should be consigned to Farsi-speakin audiences who want to watch some comedy for a change. For others who do not accept that things may be lost in translation, it may go so far as to be deemed irresponsible filmmakin. One and a half stars.