DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Under the Skin of the City
Under the Skin of the City
Wellspring // Unrated // March 16, 2004
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Matt Langdon | posted April 27, 2004 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:
Under the Skin of the City is another fine down-to-earth, social realism film from Iran.

This one, directed by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, is about a working class family in Tehran who are faced with serious concerns. Tuba (Golab Adineh), the matriarch of the family, tries to keep her family together. She works in a factory but her son Abbas (Mohammad Reza Foroutan) – the other family breadwinner - wants to leave for a job in Japan with the promise that he will come back a rich man. Tuba's other son is a political activist who causes some trouble in the family. On top of this Tuba's husband is in a wheelchair and doesn't work but that doesn't stop him from taking the significantly unwise move of selling the families house to pay for Abbas' trip abroad before the trip is a reality. Adding to the stress of the family is the fact that Tuba's daughter - who lives next door - suffers physical abuse by her husband.

This is the stuff of melodrama but it is well handled and not manipulative. All the scenes play out in a relatively realistic fashion. Ms. Bani-Etemad's mise-en-scene is very natural and flows effortlessly between scenes; so effortlessly in fact that the film sometimes feels too loose. It takes a good hour before the various plots come together and the members of the family can be figured out.

This being a film made in Iran, the circumstances of the main character's challenges are only amplified by the fact that the society itself is oppressive. All of the women wear the full length shawls and head coverings and the director makes it a point that we see this.

Under the Skin of the City also has a self-conscious cinematic element to it by framing a TV interview with Tuba at the beginning, which speaks to the film's political message: A message that clearly tells us that the personal and the political can rarely be bifurcated.

How does it Look?
The film has the feeling of both a documentary (its look) and a TV quality (it's story). The aspect ratio is 1.85:1 and the film has the grainy look of a film made in the 1970's.

How does it Sound?
The film is presented in Farsi language stereo with subtitles. The sound is not particularly formidable but everything can be heard just fine. Often the film has a street noise feel to it lending to the natural way the story unfolds.

Extras:
The English subtitles can be removed.

Overall:
Under the Skin of the City is a good Iranian melodrama that fans of Iranian cinema should consider seeing. The film has little surprises and is not as significant as some of the recent Iranian cinema that has come to the U.S. over the past 10 years. But it is well directed the message about the struggles of working class families in Iran is unmistakable.

Popular Reviews
1. Halloween: The Complete Collection - Limited Deluxe Edition
2. Transformers: Age of Extinction
3. Grace Kelly Collection (Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief, Magombo, The Country Girl, The Bridges of Toko-Ri, High Society)
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
5. Dragon Ball Z: Season 7
6. Jarhead 2: Field of Fire - Unrated Edition
7. Ghost in the Shell: 25th Anniversary Edition
8. Grizzly
9. Moms Night Out
10. Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use