Circumstance - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Circumstance Reviews

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December 20, 2015
Me enamorà (C)!!! quiero ver mas cine iraní!! que color, planos, música, arte... la historia...
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2015
Circumstance is a surprisingly complex and intriguing look at Iranian lives. Various tensions between sensuality and repression, family and the state, and too many more to mention play out over the course of a short story. While not a masterpiece, Circumstance is nicely drawn and worth a look, especially if you are unfamiliar with Persian culture.
July 24, 2015
Very good effort with a story based on a master treatise. Iranians live in an artificially prude world that actually protects them from the idiotic-ness of western world make efforts to go idiotic. Desire here seems superficial although love is everywhere. The story is very well balanced and i felt surprised to root for everybody in the film. May god be great. Maybe god is great. The outcome is not obvious or formulaic, but it does ring true.
½ July 28, 2014
i could write a 3000 word essay on all the reasons why this is the worst film i've ever seen, but all i'll say is that apart from being highly offensive to iranians, women, muslims, homosexuals and humanity, this is deplorable as a film. there is no story, no characters, no authenticity or artistic integrity. it's over-sensationalized, hyper-sexualized, male-centric drivel that's trying to tap into "hot" issues of the day without the slightest understanding of the substance behind those issues.
½ March 9, 2014
ok romantic drama in a land where love n freedom are monitored
December 16, 2013
Closely related film to "Persepolis" and "No-one Knows About the Persian Cats". Equally well told though with good acting from especially Boosheri. You wanna personally let all the young upstarts of Iran know that your heart is with them. Hope they all get to see this film, it helps to see your own struggle confirmed and acknowledged.
June 28, 2013
first time i've seen an Iranian movie that achieved ultimate levels of hotness and creepiness. depressing? of course - it's a Persian film. but the rest was so unexpected in so many ways.
June 2, 2013
Familiar, but not standing out.
May 24, 2013
Review: I cannot give this movie a very fair review. There is too much that slipped by me upon watching it. My stupid rose lay dying beside me as I was watching the movie at 1 am on Netflix. What's more is I was obviously restless given the time and the fact that the film froze for a solid 5 minutes during the last act damaged the film's viewing experience. On top of all of this, I find foreign films tough to completely absorb. I often miss minute, but important details, and end up having to paint a more general impression of the picture. Despite all of this I find great praise in the fact that the film was still able to move me.

First of all, I find it very cool that a film such as this was able to be made; even though it never saw a wide release in North America, and even though it wasn't actually able to be shot in Iran where the film's setting takes place (Beirut, Lebanon for those who are curious). The fact that a film as eye-opening as this one, directed by a woman, about two female lovers, taking place in the conservative middle east was able to make it to my viewing channel is very impressive considering these are pretty major hurdles to climb.

There are several things that make this a good film. The performances all around are strong, particularly by the two leads (Nikohl Boosheri and Sarah Kazemy). There are some cool dynamic camera angles thrown in there wrapped around a relatively basic, easy to digest structure, and of course there's the hot lesbian action! I really can't get through this review without mentioning that because come on, it's right there in the plot and middle-eastern women have a beauty that is beyond compare. That's not the sole reason I enjoyed the film though or even the main reason. Simply put, this film is appropriately ambitious and really works its strengths. The only faults I will give this film are that it has an abrupt ending, and a lack of escalating tension. I kept waiting for all of these individually great scenes to converge in order to serve some overall catharsis, but that did not seem to be the authentic angle Maryam Keshavarz was working for, and with those great scenes I never found myself bored with the film.

(If you notice I'm being quite general with this review, it's because if it is not clear by now, I think you should see it.)

As a straight white North American male watching this movie, it might not seem like there is much for me to relate to. However, I found the youthful rebellion showcased in the film definitely to be a relatable jumping off point for me, and I felt nonetheless engaged as well as horrified, as I watched some of the abuses and human rights violations undergone by not just the women in the film but homosexuals as well.

This film is a real eye-opener towards Iranian culture, and the director's choice to tell a unique emotional story at its core primarily, and serve secondary as a basis for political commentary, makes the film more enjoyable overall. I like to think I know a great film when I see one, and I was glad to able to enjoy it, regardless of the circumstances.
½ April 9, 2013
Sensuous beauty trapped within immoral hideousness.
April 1, 2013
This movie is not for me.
April 1, 2013
Nice to watch, sexy and beautiful, but no more
March 8, 2013
Fascinating film about life in Iran and attempts to subvert the authority of religion. Some success, some having to give in.
½ February 26, 2013
Highly illustrative, purposeful, thought-provoking look at Iran's youth as well as its '79 revolution-supporting adults. Well shot. Tightly shot/edited.
½ February 20, 2013
the worst Iranian movie i have ever seen. Its a shame.
February 14, 2013
It's good to get a glimpse into contemporary Iranian youth culture, but this film is not really one worth watching more than once.
½ January 6, 2013
Absolutely stunning, outrageously beautiful and a very interesting look on modern day Iran. It was refreshing to see Iranian family life, and also the rebel side of Iranian teenagers. The ending was a bit of a let down, from the wedding on, but I still enjoyed it a lot.
½ December 9, 2012
Duas garotas que se amam e se rebelam contra seus pais e o "mundo". Não à (C) novidade nem no mundo real nem nos cinemas, mas aqui o olhar à (C) na juventude que à (C) vivida no Irã. Essa à (C) a "pimenta", mas que não chega a arder muito porque o filme não à (C) nada demais.
November 18, 2012
A well built movie with a slow build up of emotions and oppression. It is a delicate view of the Iranian oppression of its open-minded youth. You're almost feeling that you're looking at it sideways. A westerner will not be jolted, but will understand bit by bit, what it means to live in Iran, be young, and wanting more freedom.
½ November 10, 2012
In modern day Iran, we see the struggle between conservatism and independence. Atafeh's family is quite liberal. Her parents were former protestors and she sneaks off into underground parties and creates Persian dubs of American activist films. She brings along her best friend, Shireen, and a mutual attraction blossoms between them as they try to find their place in Iranian society. Meanwhile, Atafeh's brother comes home from drug rehab as a devoutly religious man who adheres to the tenets of his Muslim faith. His family's independence begins to rub him the wrong way and he begins to meddle in his sister's affairs. Few other movies have as important as message as this one, and the film and the actors have been banned from Iran since its release.
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