Going By

Iranian cinema is known for its artistic bent. Going By shares much of the same metaphorical feel, but has been done many times before. Writer/director Iraj Karimi uses a road trip across Iran to signify monumental events in the lives of four separate groups of people on this road. Using the physical journey to allude to the personal one is nothing new, and Karimi doesn't do much to make things original. Going By certainly drags in the beginning when he is establishing everything, and never picks up enough to care about the people in it.

All four groups of people are not connected, but are following the same path from Tehran to the countryside and bump into each other every once in a while. There is a car with two women; one a film director and the other a pregnant. The pregnant woman was the mistress of the first woman's husband, and showed up at his funeral and caused considerable distress. The director brought her along as to get to know her, and possibly find out a little more about her husband. Another car contains a father and his young son, who has a terminal disease. The father is frustrated with his son at times, but holds back because he knows his son doesn't have long to survive. The third car has a father and his two sons. Both children are spoiled. The final car is a hearse, and is carrying the dead son of the passenger.

The bulk of the film consists of the characters talking to each other and occasionally meeting another car. They talk about various issues that deal with everything from trivial matters to more philosophical issues. Aside from a slow start, the other main issue is that it is hard to care about these people. The most poignant story involves the wife and the mistress. Karimi makes the mistress seem like a bitch, so the wife is the more sympathetic character, yet it is bizarre that she invited the mistress on the trip in the first place. The strangest thing about Going Away is the most distracting. When the various cars meet, they act like strangers. However, at the beginning of the film, it looks as if nearly everybody is working on the same movie set.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 26 minutes, Farsi with English subtitles, Not Rated but would be an easy PG, maybe PG-13.

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