Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #334 Taste of Cherry

In Uncategorized on September 4, 2011 at 7:53 AM

Movie #334 Taste of Cherry

(1997, Iran, d. Abbas Kiarostami)

It’s a movie that you really don’t want to know anything about before you see it and even after you see it. For reading the director’s views on the film’s message as well as its ending will sort of ruin the subjective tone this film maintains the whole while through. Taste of Cherry follows one day in the life of Mr. Badii (Homayoun Ershadi) as he searches for a man to do a job for him. That job: cover up the grave of his own body after he commits suicide that night. As a viewer, you expect the film to eventually disclose why Mr. Badii would want to end his own life, but this is a movie that is smarter than that. It’s not about ‘why’s’. It’s about ‘what now’s’. A film that a lot of people will find distasteful for its purposefully slow pace and purely dialogue driven film, Taste of Cherry is for only the most dissecting filmgoer. It is a film that tries to understand death – no easy feat at all. As Mr. Badii travels from person to person, he encounters a range of people, all with their own opinion of the purpose of life and the life after life. It is a film that, for the most part, almost takes place from a single shot watching our protagonist drive and drive and drive and drive further and further into the countryside as he looks for a possible candidate. A hauntingly beautiful picture, with an evenly more mysterious and enigmatic climax, Taste of Cherry is a near masterpiece from a unique foreign voice in Mr. Abbas Kiarostami.

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