Combustible Celluloid
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With: Niki Karimi, Ehsan Amani, Niloufar Khoshkholgh, Hessam Nourani, Alireza Anoushfar, Behzad Dorani
Written by: Shadmehr Rastin
Directed by: Niki Karimi
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Persian/Farsi, with English subtitles
Running Time: 78
Date: 09/13/2006

A Few Days Later (2007)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Answering Machine Age

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Already a star from her appearances in Tahmineh Milani's overwrought -- but much beloved -- melodramas, Iranian actress Niki Karimi looked to the grandmaster, Abbas Kiarostami, for directing inspiration. In this, her second feature, she beautifully captures a specific brand of avoidance and understatement. She plays Shahrzad, a mousy graphic designer who becomes distracted at work. At home, her answering machine constantly squawks about her family's health/well-being problems, and her annoying neighbor (Behzad Dorani, from Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us) keeps parking his giant SUV in her space. To her credit, Karimi never shows the expected hospital scenes, tearful goodbyes or tense confrontations that seem to be looming. Instead, she retreats inside the character's head and brings her to a stunningly private conclusion.

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