Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Offside - Movie Review

I started watching 'Offisde' last year and completed it this year, primarily due to a technical glitch. Directed by Jafar Panahi,'Offside' is a story told in the length of a soccer match between Iran and Bahrain, an important qualifying match for the World Cup finals in Germany.

A girl wants to watch the game despite the law against women watching football matches in stadiums. She travels to the game by herself slimly disguising herself with a cap, a jacket and boy clothes. She manages to get a ticket but she is caught and herded with several other girls who also want to get into the stadium. The guards cannot understand why the girls take so much trouble to watch the match in the stadium when they can watch it at home. The moods swing as the match progresses, one girl asks to go to the toilet and manages to slip away, one girl picks up a fight, and meanwhile the match ends. They are herded into a police van to be taken to the vice squad. There is a tender moment when the girl reveals that she wanted to watch the game for her friend who died in crowd violence at a previous Iran-Japan game. The movie ends as the girls slip away in the confusion on the road.

That's the best thing about Irani movies and especially by Jafar Panahi. Take a simple setting, set up the actors in front and through them explore the situation behind it. Why women cannot watch football matches is something the cannot understand, when they are allowed to play. Apparently inspired by Jafar Panahi's daughter who attended a game despite the law, the movie, shot during a live Iran match, was banned in Iran. Watch it to marvel at how simple stories can be told so well and so deeply.

1 comment:

Rajendra said...

Funny rules abound across the world!