I was faced with a choice, at a difficult age. Would I write a book, or should I take to the stage

Monday, December 8

7.5 out of "Ten"
TAKE NOTICE that I viewed a film called Ten on Saturn's day night.

It's an Iranian film, and is set entirely in a woman's car. The 'ten' in the title refers to the ten journeys to which the film bears witness. Despite sounding a bit contrived, I found that the gimmick of the "ten car journeys" supported the film and its narrative rather well. The driver in question is a woman who has recently divorced her husband in fairly scandalous circumstances. She has an 8 year old son called Amin who is most bitter about the divorce and about his mother's subsequent repartnering, and it is through the three car journeys where Amin is the passenger that I got the most insight into the driver's own life. The other passengers were all women, and had various telling discussions with the driver about their lives, expectations and disappointments. There was something of the social renegade about the woman driving the car, which manifested in the advice she dished out to her female passengers, often gently admonishing them for depending on their unsatisfactory relationships with men for their own happiness. However, her own situation is contrasted with those of her passengers, as is evident from her ongoing tussles with her petulant son, who is busily (and highly convincingly) playing out the role of the demanding Iranian man which we hear about from the other passengers but never see.

The woman car driver sometimes gets out of the car to buy a cake, which I thought was very nice. Specially when, at one point, Amin asks her who the cake is for. "For us," she replies. Which was very nice really considering he had been such an awful little spoilt brat to her from the outset.

This film is pretty slow, make no mistake. If you didn't like About Schmidt you certainly won't like this one, so just don't bother. If, however, you're willing to invest a little bit of effort into watching a film, there's a very worthwhile tradeoff for persevering through the slower sequences. It's all very dogme-style too, and all the more convincing for it. It doesn't quite make the Filmica Top 10 for 2003 (thank goodness, as I've already made my list and I can't be constantly chopping and changing). But it's definitely not far away. Not at all. No.


Post a Comment

<< Home