First act parallels the vibe of the Argentinean produced "Bombon: El Perro". Main protagonist Karim (Mohammad Amir Naji), fired from his job as an ostrich farmer, ventures off to Tehran to earn some money and find means to upgrade a broken hearing aid desperately needed by one of his daughters. Characterization is the main motivation here, as the director lovingly sculpts Karim as a paternal character untarnished by any sort of negative, earthly influences. Not that he is uninspired by desire, but his desire is more directed to more altruistic means towards his family. Thesping by Naji is pitch perfect.
And here's where the film becomes more than it actually claims to be. Venturing off to exciting Tehran, Karim turns wide eyed, as he accidentally becomes a taxi driver. Comedy is potent here, definitely not used to degrade main protagonist though. Eventually, picture develops him into an influenced mortal showing greed and materialism. From an innocent television antenna, his backyard expands and practically becomes a junkyard. His character development transcends the screen, as every piece of junk he hogs, loss of his old self is palpable.
Directing clearly emphasizes Karim as an Adam out of Eden, banished by circumstances to a city wrapped in earthly pleasures. Cinematography plays a massive role in this recurring theme. Lensed by Turaj Mansuri, film paints Iranian countryside as fertile and effervescent whilst modern Tehran isn't exactly depicted as ruthless and evil, but more constrictive and crowded. Cityscape is painted as monotone brown, allowing the characters to paint themselves, easily using citizens to express a point. Film isn't judgmental of city living, only reminds them of what they're missing.
And that's just the first act. Next chapters' focuses on Karim's redemption from a fall from grace, events transpired that might come off normal to modern people but nonetheless, out of character to himself. His family life is placed in focus, as with Karim, audiences are allowed to comprehend (and remind main protagonist) what his old desires were. Undoubtedly contemplative and metaphorical, film guarantees a high replay value. Film strikes a cord with a visual cue on fish out of water.
Picture definitely doesn't ask much from the audience, however it's upon the audience to accept it. This will reward them though as Majidi proves himself as a rich painter of not characters, but spotless souls. As with his previous films, Majidi transfers his optimism on celluloid without much trouble. Detail here is exemplary as every facet of the production is riddled with ideas waiting to be uncovered by repeat viewings.