Mårten Klingberg´s "Offside" is a classic feel good underdog type of sport comedy with some shading we have seen many times. However, this movie still manages to grasp the viewer due to a script that works with plenty of layers and with several good actors in the main roles such as Jonas Karlsson (always great), Torkel Petersson, Ingvar Hirdwall etc. Klingberg manages to keep things together and serves us both laughter and sadness within everyday situations we can relate to in so many ways. And it was nice to see the always radiant Tina Nordlund as Annika. She´s a former player for the Swedish female national team and for Umeå IK. One of my old favourites on the pitch.
Offside manages to examine a gross social injustice with a light-heartedness and humour one would imagine impossible. Yet at no point does it deny that we are indeed witnessing injustice â?? we identify with the imprisoned girls railing against the denial of their basic freedoms and laugh with them as they find increasingly clever ways to bend their captors to their will. Yet we are simultaneously compassionate towards the captors, who agree that the law is unfair but are not in positions â?? either socially or personally â?? to enact a rebellion.
Panahi's light touch when examining inequality is both admirable and delightful to watch. They serve less as political statement than snapshot of an incredibly misunderstood Islamic society. For better or worse, Panahi refuses to comment explicitly on the state of his society, instead presenting images of people (often girls and women) existing as best they can, and allowing the viewer to form their own opinions. A genuinely wonderful filmmaker.