Thursday, September 10, 2015

LGBT Film Review: Circumstance


A tale of love and family turned upside down by obsession and suspicion, Circumstance is also a provocative coming-of-age story that cracks open the hidden world of Iranian youth culture. Alive with playfulness, two vivacious teenage girls, wealthy Atafeh and orphaned Shireen are discovering their burgeoning sexuality full of wild yearnings and imaginative fantasies. And while the simplest things are often disallowed them, they take risks ever day to lead their own lives.

My Review:

New York Magazine called Circumstance "Daring, Hot, and Forbidden!" In a nutshell, that is what Circumstance is. It's bold, it's daring, and very sexy as it is playful, charming, and hopeful. Atafeh and Shireen's love story is the star of Circumstance. Actresses Nikohl Boosheri (who plays Atafeh) and Sarah Kazemy (who plays Shireen) are devastatingly stunning together. Their sexual and romantic attraction was so immediate that it's shocking to think that this was just acting. Together, Atafeh and Shireen are risky, vivacious, and so free-spirited which is pretty exciting but very dangerous in juxtaposition to Iran's cultural norms. They're two women in love and they won't let anyone and anything get in their way. Circumstance also glimpses on the clubbing, drinking, and drug scene among Iranian youth, which that, too, was beautifully captured in this movie with striking, energetic, and sensual cinematography. I was truly impressed by everything, even in the rich Iranian music, pretty breathtaking. Circumstances is a breath of fresh air on so many levels. It didn't pander to its audience, it didn't over-sexualize the lesbian couple (it focused on their dreams and ambitions equally to the hot sex), and for all its complexities - the religious and culture clashing and the controversy, conflicts, and barriers - it's unbelievable how well this was all executed, so organized, smart, and clever. Pretty superb film and still edgy for its time. I can't recommend it highly enough.

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