As noble as his ideals are, watching a series of interminably lengthy conversations inside a car makes for stultifying viewing. And the abrupt ending, which highlights the fictional nature of the whole enterprise, is mystifying.
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An exquisite return to cinema at its most intimate, allusive and humanist. Without a firebomb, muscle-bound star or gunfight in sight, it explodes with the most fragile and combustible substance on earth: human nature.
A warning: The pace is very slow in Taste of Cherry, with long takes and leisurely, repetitious shots of Mr. Badii's car twisting through a hilly countryside. Kiarostami is in no rush, but the respect and love he shows for his characters, and the confidence and simplicity of his technique, make Taste of Cherry a satisfying experience.
This tale of a despondent man's attempt to find someone to help him commit suicide never really hits the emotional heights it should; it may be that the film's proponents are confusing simplicity with profundity. [30 Sept 1997]
This outstanding work — so meditative — is clearly an affirmation of life (and never more provocatively than in the film’s unusual coda, in which moviemaking itself becomes part of the discussion). It’s also so grounded in the real emotional scope of ordinary people that the magnitude of the subject is answered in the most mysteriously matter-of-fact way.
I have to report that I, personally, just don't get it. I intellectually understand what occurs in the movie; I just can't make the leap into calling it a humanistic treasure about life's big questions. Slow and monotonous, the film moves at a deliberate pace and culminates in a meta-fictional moment that is either infuriatingly trite or enigmatic.
A simple, serene and occasionally humorous film about a subject that is complex, emotional and usually treated with solemnity.