This is a modern adaptation of Tennessee William’s classic play The Glass Menagerie. The Deep American South of the 1940s has relocated to contemporary Tehran. The four main characters have other names, faces, and cultural backgrounds, yet their depressing lives remain tragically the same. Farideh (Motamed-Arya), a middle-aged single mother, diligently works a double shift in a food processing plant. Her adolescent lame daughter Yalda (Negar Javaherian) dreams of marrying, but spends most of her days obsessively washing, drying and playing with her crystal animal figurines. Her brother Ehsan (Saber Abar) works in a warehouse but writes poems and spends every free moment at the movie theater escaping harsh reality. The fourth character Reza (Parsa Piroozfar), Ehasan’s handsome and sincere colleague from work, accepts an invitation to come to dinner unaware of Farideh’s matchmaking plans. Yalda instantly falls in love with Reza, but he reveals he is already engaged to another. She stops eating, waiting for Reza’s call to say he loves her and will marry her. Days pass, she begins to wither away. But one morning Yalda claims Reza had called her in the night and proposed. From that moment on the movie embarks into new territory intertwining dreams and reality. Danger: This abrupt change may cause audience disorientation. Conclusion: The excellent performances of all four actors make it worth viewing. (PF)
JM adds: Or does Yalda really have a breakdown? Does Reza change his mind and choose Yalda over his fiancée? Is there a happy ending to this bleak tale? Is Ehsan dreaming of that happy life for his sister as the bus takes him to a new life? Bahram Tavakoli’s film has an ambiguous ending which lifts it from the mundane and means that you will long ponder the ending.