Subtlety and aesthetic elegance — the jerky animation complements the blunt tone — are not among the film’s virtues. Tehran Taboo aims to expose systemic hypocrisy; in that respect, it is brisk and bracing.
Stream Tehran Taboo
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While its frank approach is refreshing, there is a sense of too much.
The film is full of astute, and poetically staged, critiques of the parallel worlds resulting from Iran's police state.
That the film is animated, yet feels so thoroughly real, is a testament to its vivid use of rotoscoping as well as a solid script by director Ali Soozandeh, an Iranian expatriate.
Using skillful, involving storytelling and beautifully executed rotoscoped photography, director Ali Soozandeh creates a world of intersecting urban miseries and challenges.
The script crackles with such bleak little jokes like this, relieving the tension in a work that could otherwise prove overwhelmingly depressing and borderline melodramatic.
It’s a more somber companion to Marjane Satrapi’s 2007 film “Persepolis,” which explored life under the Iranian Revolution with dark humor: Here, the laughter’s mostly a prelude to tears.
The characters and plotting tend to be a little schematic, but just because the trajectories of the women’s narratives are predictable, it doesn’t follow that the story lacks power. On the contrary – this is fearless, potent storytelling.