Get us in your inbox

No Hard Feelings

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
No Hard Feelings
Photograph: ©Juenglinge Film

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

An electric debut that explores immigrant identity is a sexy, sweet, queer German hit

German-Iranian director Faraz Shariat’s gorgeously mould-breaking debut announces itself with all the endearing energy and erotic chemistry of a Xavier Dolan film. 

Loosely based on the director’s youthful rebellion (although co-written with Paulina Lorenz), it casts an angular-cheeked and bleached blond Benny Radjaipour as Parvis. Born and raised in northern German city Hildesheim, he’s at ease with his rampant sexuality, but less so with the Iranian identity inherited from his supermarket-owning immigrant parents who pine for the life they left behind in Tehran. When a shoplifting spree lands Parvis with 150 hours of community service, he gets assigned as a less-than-fluent Farsi-speaking translator at the local refugee centre. That’s where he sets eyes on a quietly brooding Amon (Eidin Jalali) and his effervescent sister Banafshe (Banafshe Hourmazdi). Falling for the former even as he continues his in da clerb and hook-up app adventures, he also forges a firm BFF bond with the latter.

Eschewing the usual coming-out tropes – his parents accept his outing pretty smoothly, and homophobic pushback from Amon’s mates is kept to a bare minimum – this dance-music-doused reverie thrums to the beat of punch-drunk love. In a still-rare and rewarding move for queer cinema involving two boys falling in love,Banafshe is centred equally, rather than saddled with sidekick status. A rewarding subplot involving her visa status lends much emotional drama. As for Radjaipour and the curly haired Jalali, the chemistry they convey is electric. Their first halting kiss in a bathtub is equal parts steamy and sweet. The energy arcing off this film deftly embraces heady topics of race, sexuality, place and belonging, yet skips merrily over melodrama and into the sublime.

Available in the UK on VOD Dec 7.

Stephen A Russell
Written by
Stephen A Russell

Cast and crew

  • Director:Faraz Shariat
  • Screenwriter:Faraz Shariat, Paulina Lorenz
  • Cast:
    • Benny Radjaipour
    • Eidin Jalali
You may also like
You may also like