Low Heights

The last thing one expects from a film from Iran is an action movie filled with dark humor. Iranian films are usually highly artistic, simple, and metaphorical. They tend to cater to critics and arthouse fans. Low Heights bucks the trend, showing that Iran can make an action film just as bad as they make them here. It is interesting to watch this, because it is so much more 'modern' and accessible than most films from Iran. What makes Low Heights especially fascinating in today's world is that it is about an airline hijacking. No, it does not involve terrorists, but it does involve Muslims. Well duh, since everybody in the movie is Muslim. The other main difference between this and most other Iranian films is that is moves fairly quickly. Low Heights begins slowly, but once everybody is up in the air it becomes, at times, fairly hectic.

Anyways, Ghasem (Hamid Farokhnezad, Bride of Fire) is at his wits end, and orchestrates the hijacking out of desperation. He wants something better for his family, and believes the only way to do this is to fly out of the country. The only person in on the plan with him is his pregnant wife Narges (Leila Hatami, The Mix, Leila). Ghasem's plan is to tell his entire extended family that he found jobs for them in Bander Abbas. They will all take the same flight together. This way, when Ghasem carries out his plan, most of the plan will hopefully be sympathetic towards him. The catch is that there are undercover officers on every flight, and nobody knows who they are.

It is curious as to what writer/director Ebrahim Hatamikia (The Red Ribbon, The Glass Agency) is trying to accomplish. Like most other Iranian films, there is a strong political statement in Low Heights, but instead of pushing it, Hatamikia focuses on the action. Ghasem is looking for something better, and feels that this is the only way he can achieve his goals for his family. Hatamikia could be trying to make an action comedy, but the script is a little too amateurish to be effective. Since this is Persian cinema, violence and blood is kept to a minimum. For the most part, the film concentrates Narges' inner struggle to figure out what she believes is right before descending into histrionics. It just gets more hysterical as it approaches the end, which ends up turning off the audience from anything that Hatamikia could potentially be saying.

Mongoose Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 15 minutes, Farsi with English subtitles, Not Rated but contains mild violence, a PG or PG-13.

Back to Movies