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Modest Reception

By HALEY MARTIN
[ONE NIGHT ONLY] In Modest Reception, Iranian director Momo Haghighi follows a mysterious Iranian man and woman over the course of 24 hours as they travel the mountainside, sporadically handing out large bags of cash to needy villagers and tracing each recipient via cellphone. Despite some compelling segments, the plot proves bizarre and disappointing. The ambiguity of the main characters’ motives at first intrigues, and it seems an exciting revelation is near. But while the film concludes with a basic explanation of the pair’s odd behavior, it fails to deliver any deeper or more satisfying meaning. Certain scenes lack clear connection to the overall narrative, as when the man abandons his money-distributing duties to dig a grave for a villager’s deceased baby. To make things even more perplexing, the pair tells such an intricate web of lies to the villagers that it’s unclear whether they’re husband and wife or brother and sister. That said, actors Taraneh Alidoosti and Mani Haghighi deliver a few shining moments in their displays of brutal irritation toward each other, with Haghighi at one point jumping out of the moving car. But any viewers as prone to irritation as these two should spare themselves a major patience-tester and look elsewhere.
 

Special Note

NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 7 pm Sunday, Aug. 25
 
  • Genres: Drama
  • Running Time: 100 minutes
  • Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Language: Persian
  • Critic's Score: D
  • Starring: Taraneh Alidoosti [Leyla], Mani Haghighi [Kaveh], Esmaeel Khalaj [], Saber Abbar [], Nader Fallah [], Ghorban Nadjafi [], Saeed Changizian [], Naqi Seif-Jamali [], Mohammadreza Najafi [Mostafa Kerendi]
  • Directed by: Mani Haghighi [Director], Mani Haghighi [Screenwriter], Amir Koohestani [Screenwriter], Mani Haghighi [Producer], Houman Behmanesh [Cinematographer], Hayedeh Safiyari [Film Editor]
  • Watch the trailer
 

Show Times

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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