The Circle (Dayereh)

Critics Consensus

Bleak, yet powerful, The Circle offers a searing indictment of the oppressive conditions experienced by women in Iran.



Total Count: 60


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,319
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Movie Info

A look at the world of seven women in Iran, searching for themselves while struggling with everyday oppression. Having been released from prison only to find themselves confined by the world outside.


Critic Reviews for The Circle (Dayereh)

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for The Circle (Dayereh)

  • Jun 25, 2014
    Simultaneous to Marziyeh Meshkini's symbolic masterpiece <i>The Day I Became a Woman</i> (2000), Panahi applies his trademark, engrossing style of striking realism, lively urban environments and hypnotic tracking shots to direct this furious denunciation against gender inequalities against women in contemporary Iran, a society that prevents women from having an abortion, that prevents them from making a shocking amount of formalities without police authorization, that forbids them to travel without male company, that makes women endure physical, psychological and domestic violence, that forbids them to accept car rides from men and to buy tickets alone, and that makes them endure unfair marital regulations that ultimately increase paternalistic and chauvinist tendencies inside the families and empowers men to legally ask for a divorce for inhuman reasons. <i>Dayereh</i> is credited with having the narrative structure of Max Ophüls' <i>La Ronde</i> (1950), given that, as literally suggested by the title, the film comes full circle. Besides, all of the events are interconnected, similarly to Meshkini's testament, but instead of being separated vignettes, they are connected in real time in the lapse of one single day. Perhaps this is a way to state that these kinds of injustice can be seen "everywhere you turn your head". Panahi scores again with his most straightforward commentary directed for worldwide masses, especially aimed at similarly sexist and oppressive societies around the world... And with the abandoned little girl featured in this film, we might just have a reason of why Mina's mother in <i>The Mirror</i> (1997) never came to pick her daughter from school... 97/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 27, 2011
    This film is very daring coming from the country it was made, so much so it was banned there, a simple story of various women trying to escape there lives in a country where women really dont have rights, and this film was made by a man himself, so its interesting how the charactors get there say. although at times its a little dull in places, and to westerners and people in countries where women dont have this put upon them, it might not seem much of a film, but it is very relevent there and should be seen in that respect, so dont let the structure of story and story take any thing away.
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Sep 08, 2008
    Undoubtedly,it's one of the top 10 films of 2000.Justification knows no boundaries and female,psychological suffering is excellently displayed on this film.Real drama,nothing fake to cover the truth.Panahi eluding his road to "sacrilegious perdition" contrary to the customs of Iran,we can say with certainty it's a universal journey.A journey disastrous through the looking glass of a handful of women.
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 25, 2007
    Be in the right mood to see this. It is one of umpteen depictions of women coping in fundamentalist Islamic states but it happens to be one of the better ones.
    John B Super Reviewer

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