Film Review: Fish and Cat (2013) by Shahram Mokri

For his second function, Iranian director Shahram Mokri was inspired by a story which appears far more fitting for a gruesome murder film or slasher horror. In 1998. the owners of a restaurant in northern Iran have been arrested just after they have been caught obtaining served human meat in their dishes to their guests. Nevertheless, he also aimed to additional his capabilities in film and cinematic type, as nicely as expand on the themes he had introduced in his very first function, “Ashkan, the Sacred Ring and Other Stories”. A single of the most intriguing elements, and in the end a very demanding, was to use a single-take method, altering the viewpoint from 1 character to the subsequent and using 1 place, a modest lake and the forest close by. “Fish &amp Cat” therefore would manifest the reputation of Mokri inside the festival circle and audiences, winning the Horizons Award at Venice Film Festival 2013.

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The story requires spot in the Caspian area of Iran, exactly where a group of young travelers and backpackers have gathered about a lake to witness a kite-flying occasion which will take spot the subsequent day. Parviz (Abed Abest) is 1 of the contestants and is currently busy preparing his kite for the upcoming occasion, and also organizing, generating a list of these who also want to take portion, such as Kambiz (Faraz Modiri), who is eager to invest a handful of days away from his father and his escalating obsession with a lost appreciate. In the course of his preparation, Parvis engages in discussion with his good friends Mina (Neda Jebraeili) and Pedram (Pedram Sharifi), who assistance him, as nicely as meeting other people today, even even though he has the feeling some of these events have currently occurred to him, unsure no matter if it was a dream or a premonition.

At the similar time, the two cooks and owners of a nearby restaurant, Babak (Babak Karimi) and Saeed (Saeed Ebrahimifar), have gone into the woods to take care of the grisly contents 1 of them carries in his garbage bag. Nevertheless, their trip is reduce brief as they meet some of the people today who are camping at the lake. Just after they have managed to take care of the bag’s insides, they attempt to set traps for the young people today at the lake, luring them into the forest exactly where they may meet their ultimate fate.

As with his very first function, “Fish &amp Cat” maybe also desires to be viewed from the surface as nicely as its metaphorical level. Whereas “Ashkan” followed a far more episodic structure, this function is significantly far more linear, albeit with many repetitions from distinct perspectives, emphasizing the notion of a time loop or the characters going by means of comparable experiences and encounters. Mokri’s second directorial work is significantly far more minimalist than its predecessor, strengthening the stage-like method, which would grow to be far more critical in this and the filmmaker’s future projects, such as “Careless Crime”. In mixture with the single take-technique, there is a developing feeling for the viewer, that you are equally entangled inside this “time loop”, each conscious of this reality but unable to stop the similar happenings from occurring more than and more than.

Apart from Mahmoud Kalari`s cinematography, there is also Christophe Rezai’s score, which creates a sense of tension and foreboding inside every single scene. When it undoubtedly tends to make some encounters and dialogues far more intriguing than other individuals, it also adds to the all round notion of inevitablity, as pointed out just before. Significantly like the characters in a slasher film in the end falling prey to the killer, the characters adhere to a pattern, a preset path which they will have to obey, falling for the similar errors as just before, generating “Fish &amp Cat” a tale about the human situation, maybe even a political allegory when it comes to Iran’s politics and society.

“Fish &amp Cat” is a significantly far more ambitious but also difficult second function by director Shahram Mokri. Using numerous components, from its music to its cinematography and its cast, it tells a story about fate, and how we are unable to escape confusion and errors, even even though we may perhaps be acutely conscious of what is the proper way.



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