The Lizard


Time Out says

A prison escapee kitted out as a clergyman finds himself obliged to keep up the pretence, only to undergo a moral reawakening as a result of the deception… So far, so ‘We’re No Angels’, except that ‘The Lizard’ offers a mock mullah in place of pretend priests. A box-office sensation in Iran before it was withdrawn under pressure from senior clerics, Kamal Tabrizi’s comedy certainly provides a different perspective on the country from the intertextual reveries of Abbas Kiarostami and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, but its entertainment value is limited. Popular comic Parviz Parastui lends an engagingly gruff, worn patience to salty recidivist Reza (nicknamed ‘the lizard’ for his way with walls), a lip-smacking, scoffing secularist marooned in a border village hungry for spiritual guidance. But the contrived plot, flimsy characterisation and gloopy heart-tugging – a sickly girl, a mute moppet and a dove freed from barbed wire – grate over almost two hours, while references to Tarantino (‘the great Christian filmmaker’) point up how square and static Tabrizi’s shooting style is.

By: BW


Release details

Release date:
Friday April 22 2005
115 mins

Cast and crew

Kamal Tabrizi
Peyman Qasemkhani
Parvis Parastouie
Rana Azadvar
Mehran Najafi
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