Taste of Cherry

Taste of Cherry ★★★★

One of my first indulgences with cinematic brilliance, this was one film I had to go back to when I found a Kiarostami folder on my friends hard drive. And it was magic all over again, Mr. Badii riding his Range Rover across the dusty countryside of Iran, looking for a helping hand in his very personal mission. This is a film seeped in melancholy and warmth, and speaks the simple, elegant language Iranian cinema is known for. Mr. Badii’s encounters with diverse people are a joy to witness and their conversations are both exotic and revealing. I particularly loved his encounter with the watchman on the tower; I thought the situation was shot beautifully. For most part, the conversations are confined to the insides of the car but Kiarostami, like an expert, blends the landscapes with the mood – the barren land becoming somehow symbolic of our protagonist and hence, the climactic rainfall becomes really meaningful. For most part, the actors were from the roads and didn’t even know they were in a film until the director told them. But all that ceases to matter as Kiarostami’s lyrical storytelling talent binds the pieces together, it’s like several unrelated snippets are woven together to teach a single profound lesson but each piece remains detached from the others. It is a story about life, death and destiny that is disarmingly simple to look at and absorb but really complex and too resonating to put into words. I probably loved it even better than I did years back, the finer character arcs becoming more prominent this time. The cinematography is top notch, and the penultimate sequence is a sobering one. The talked about ending, in my opinion, does not deserve much attention in comparison to the rest of the film that is simply beautiful. A subdued piece of awesomeness, as is his style, and a film that should be savored to enjoy.