Paradise is Somewhere Else
Time Out says
A rural tale of a youngster facing obstacles and dilemmas involving obedience and conscience, Golbon’s film seems at first to fit snugly into that Iranian format of heart-warming humanist fables, represented, at its best, by early Kiarostami features like ‘Where Is the House of My Friend?’ and, at its slickest and most sentimental, by the work of Majid Majidi (‘Children of Heaven’, ‘The Colour of Paradise’) – who is here name-checked on the credits. That’s perhaps telling, because for all its neo-realist veneer and sort of resonant/relevant allusions to illegal immigration, wars across the border, and so forth, this too remains, in essence, a melodrama about rebellion, revenge, responsibility and redemption. Not exactly simplistic (though the performances are pretty perfunctory), it, nevertheless, fails to shed fresh light on familiar territory: relocated to LA, this teen-angst drama would not end up so very far from ‘Rebel Without a Cause’.