Tehran: City of Love review – the rocky road to romance in Iran

Ali Jabernansari’s engagingly downbeat comedy-drama offers intriguing insights into life into modern Iranian life

Three lonely souls in Tehran search for love in this interesting, downbeat comedy-drama from writer-director Ali Jabernansari. Part portrait of alienation in Iran, part examination of modern dating, its characters suffer as much from their own human frailties as they do from the oppressive politics of Iran’s theocratic regime. There are echoes here of Abbas Kiarostami and Asghar Farhadi, and something, too, of the bittersweet air of an American indie pic hangs over it.

Forough Ghajabagli injects genuine sympathy into the sad-sacky role of Mina, a receptionist at a beauty clinic, unhappy with her weight and smouldering with bitterness. In her spare time, Mina anonymously stalks hot guys who come to the clinic (for laser hair removal mostly), messaging them with fake photos, pretending to be a model-beautiful woman called Sara.

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