The White Balloon (Badkonake sefid) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The White Balloon (Badkonake sefid) Reviews

Page 1 of 5
February 24, 2018
1001 movies to see before you die.
September 17, 2017
Jafar Panahi's first film (after serving as Assistant Director to Abbas Kiarostami, who is credited with this film's script) is another one of the now long list of Iranian masterworks (from Panahi, Kiarostami, Farhadi, Makhmalbaf and others) -- a real New Wave, if it hadn't been going on for decades now. These films manage to interact directly with viewers' subjectivity (our consciousness) even while seemingly portraying almost trivial events. Knowing (or controlling) exactly what the audience is thinking allows the director to playfully tease us, to create suspense, to give pleasure by following or contravening the normal rules of a narrative. Hitchcock also had this skill. I'm not entirely sure how the effect is created - careful use of editing, but also sound design, subjective point-of-view shots, and scripts that narrow our scope to one or two characters carrying out actions, step by step with clear expectations or goals. I don't think there is anything specific about Iranian culture that leads to such a technique (I could be wrong), but for Westerners there is another layer to be enjoyed when one sees that culture in all of its day-to-day mundanity. Here, Panahi has us follow a 7-year-old girl in Tehran on New Year's Eve who wishes to buy a goldfish (part of the celebration). When she is given a 500 tomans note by her mother, more money than is needed, we feel nervous as she rushes off with the note shoved into the goldfish bowl. Will it get lost? Yes, it does (but not until after some fun is had by the director showing two snake-charmers pilfer the money and tease the girl before returning it). Most of the film is spent watching the girl try to get the money back after she subsequently loses it down a drain. Since we don't know what will or can happen, we are completely absorbed by the task and the people who get involved, trying to help. The title of the film itself, doesn't make any sense until the final minutes (out of only 85) - and even then, it feels more like a wink from Panahi than a meaningful symbol. In the end, the film seems like nothing more than a light comedy about kids and their way of seeing the world - but through some mysterious alchemy, it turns out to be more.
March 9, 2017
This showed up on top 100 movies that uour kid shoukd see, my 10 year and I just watched it, have to say it was surprisingly disappointed to cone close to that list.
June 6, 2016
Probably one of the best endings of any film ever.
September 19, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

(1995) The White Balloon
(In Persian with English subtitles)

7 year old Iranian girl sees a goldfish she likes and tries to get it even if it meant sacrificing some of her own things which also includes a balloon and future gifts. It's nice to see other kids of other countries that are no different than ours. Small little film about something that can be important to children but not important to adults makes it much more genuine to watch.

3 out of 4 stars
½ March 2, 2013
Simplicity gives rise to eternal beauty....
½ February 25, 2013
Several people try to take advantage of a little girl's innocence to hustle money her mom gave to her to buy a goldfish with.
October 9, 2012
Some of those films that has a simple but enthralling story.
½ July 4, 2012
Iranian film 'The White Balloon' can be this great and entertaining is beyond explanation. This is such cute story of a girl who loses her money and she is determined to get it before her parents find out. For this she needs help of her brother of her age. It is really exciting to see how people come to help her, most notably the balloon-selling boy. A tender story!
June 14, 2012
watched this when i was feeling sick and had a day off school... it only takes place on like 2 streets but it kept me wondring... it was sort of like you was on the quest for the fish as well.... i liked this movie because it was just realistic and like an everyday event that people can go through
June 1, 2012
Written by Kiarostami, directed by Panahi. Enough said.
January 11, 2012
A definitive lesson in people management.
½ July 21, 2011
A poignant movie where resembles a lot to Children of Heaven..
Need to watch it carefully to feel the story..
I think I just fell in love with Persian language especially the young girl's intonation.. ;)
April 30, 2011
'The sea is rough, brother, the sea is rough...'
April 21, 2011
the greatest family movie ever
April 9, 2011
Simple and cute movie....
½ April 1, 2011
What a beautiful movie! I love the kid in this film...
½ December 3, 2010
Outstanding debut from controversial Iranian filmmaker Panahi. The film concerns a young girl who wishes to have a different goldfish for the New Year celebrations occurring that day. Her goldfish apparently are just not good enough. With the help of her brother, she gets some money from her mother to acquire the goldfish of her desires, but her plans are interrupted in her journey to get the fish. The film unfolds in real time and takes place in the streets of Tehran. It examines a cross-section of the people that inhabit the city. We certainly feel for the young girl in her plight to get the fish - her childhood innocence vs. that of a city full of people with other matters on their mind. The dialogue and scenario rings perfectly true with Panahi's neorealist style creating the perfect way to capture this story. The child actors give stirring and completely believable performances. The final statement of the film is absolutely fantastic and completely unexpected. Never a dull moment and an outstanding example of terrific Middle East cinema.
November 14, 2010
just saw this movie last night on TV and wow man i completely loved it. such simple yet memorable. a sweet slow paced movie. The girl was just superb, such a little girl but such a great performance. its about a girl who wants to buy a goldfish and things that happen between is a part of this movie i loved how this movie has been made on such simple and small thing and turns out very good.
Page 1 of 5