While the gist of Offside is the same (as "The Circle"), its tone is more insouciant, as it celebrates the guile and toughness of its heroines while casting a sympathetic glance at the ethical quandaries facing their jailers.
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There's a commitment to half-improvised, ground-level realism that lends the picture news value and an obvious urgency.
In his most accessible and spontaneous picture, ranking Iranian helmer Jafar Panahi reveals unsuspected comic gifts barely visible in his dramatic festival winners "The White Balloon," "The Circle" and "Crimson Gold."
The masterly Panahi concocts a spellbinding, often corrosively and/or warmly funny story in which love of both country and sport tries to, but doesn't quite, transcend dogmatic and ingrained difference.
Offside is blatantly metaphoric and powerfully concrete, deceptively simple and highly sophisticated in its formal intelligence.
The delicately subversive Mr. Panahi makes his subjects perfectly clear -- the stupidity of authority, and the hypocrisy of discrimination. Offside is surprisingly entertaining, and edifying to boot.
A charming, character-driven film that conveys enormous feeling for its people
Women's roles and the eternal fight to expand their rights in Iranian society get a light, hugely entertaining treatment in Jafar Panahi's Offsides.
Jafar Panahi's wonderfully funny, outspoken shaggy-dog story, a light counterweight to his sadder 2000 feminist drama "The Circle."
The interaction between soldiers and captives becomes a microcosm for an entire culture. It's a wisp of a movie but it has stayed with me longer than much supposedly weightier fare.