Atafeh is the teenage daughter of a wealthy Iranian family in Tehran. She and her best friend, the orphaned Shireen attend illicit parties and experiment with sex, drinking, and drugs. Atafeh’s brother Mehran is a recovering drug addict who becomes increasingly religious and obsessed with Shireen, coinciding with the collapse of his once-strong relationship with his sister. The heads of the family are the Hakimi parents, Firouz and Azar, who reminisce on their youth and what has become and what will become of their family.
Atafeh and Shireen, two high school girls who share a big crush. This they keep secret from their families: Atafeh’s, whose professional parents are conformist but not unkind, and Shireen’s, who is being raised by her uncle after her dissident parents ran afoul of the clerical authorities. They frequent clandestine stores with Western videos, attend secret parties, smoke, dance and steal away to their bedrooms to share fantasies of the freedom they could experience in nearby Dubai.
At about the halfway point, a miscalculation arrives in the form of Atafeh’s brother, Mehran. Just returned from drug rehab, he is subjected to urine tests by their father, Firouz, despite his protests that he is cured, although his cure takes the form of an Islamist dogma that has turned him into much more of an extremist than anyone else in his family.
Mehran hides spy cameras in the family home to keep track of Atafeh and Shireen; his interest is more voyeuristic than liturgical.
Firouz and wife Azar come across as reasonable parents, given their society, who want only a quick and safe marriage for their daughter. One day, Firouz takes the family to the beach, where he and Mehran go swimming, and he says to the women, “one day we can all go swimming.” The implication is that he regrets the prohibition of women in bathing suits, but observes it.
“Circumstance” begins as the story of two teenage Iranian girls in love. It is a bold statement about the treatment of women in the modern Islamic state.
(Source: en.wikipedia.org; rogerebert.com)
You may watch the official trailer here:
Original Title: Circumstance
Tagline: Let no love fall victim to Circumstance
Language: Persian, English, French
Director: Maryam Keshavarz
Stars: Sarah Kazemy, Nikohl Boosheri, Reza Sixo Safai
Run time: 107 min