Bland and Silk
by Ramin S. Khanjani
Perhaps not so well-known abroad, Massoud Kimiaei is quite a name among the Iranian movie fans. His success started with his second film, Qaysar, which along with Mehrjui's The Cow are usually known as beginners of the Iranian new wave cinema. It was welcomed both by ordinary moviegoers and most of critics (though facing strong opposition from few critics at the same time). This personal revenge story of a young man from southern parts of Tehran was apparently decorated with elements of the Iranian traditional life (it was, in fact, one of the first experiences in bringing traditional layers of the Iranian society to the screen). Besides, it depicted reactions shown by a traditional society which cannot leave traditional values behind when faced with imposed modernization. Kimiaei's successful carrier continued with some fine literary adaptations, like Dash Akol (based on a famous Iranian novel) and Ghazal (based on a story by Borges). In the meantime, he made one of his most acclaimed and political films, The Deer. His last film before the revolution, Journey of the Stone predicted uprising of the people. But his career suffered for a while after the revolution due to instabilities of those years. His first film after the revolution was denied screening permit and his next film, Blade and Silk had to be re-edited, but the result was disappointing. But he made a comeback by Lead, which belonged to gangster genre, followed by The Snake Fang and Sergeant which were screened abroad. However, some of his old admirers were still looking forward to seeing his old style and little by little he lost some of his fans. With his next film, Wolf's Trace, it seemed that he had chosen a different path. Its fragmented storyline heralded the beginning of his somehow postmodernist approach, but many critics neglected this and just blamed him that he was repeating himself. Unfortunately, his later films were less remarkable as if he failed to adopt the style he meant to shape. Even his hardliner supporters were totally disappointed. Then more than 10 years after Wolf's Trace, he made a successful comeback with noir-style film, The Verdict. The acclaim he received from critics after a long time encouraged him to make another film with similar style. So his last film, The Boss was made and screened with lots of publicity.
The film is about Reza, who has to leave the country after a false charge is leveled against him. Years later, his friend Hesam (nicknamed “the Boss”) is running a major drug smuggling network. Reza's son, Siamak, used to work for him for a while, but after he decides to cut his ties with smugglers, the Boss wants him dead. In order to save his son, Reza returns to Iran. He meets his old friend, Colonel Javid, who is now following his charges as well as the case of the Boss and it's him who stops his colleagues from arresting Reza. Reza meets his old beloved, Fereshteh, who is made an addict by Hesam's men. At the same time, Siamak who has survived an attack from Hesam's men flees with his girl, Tala, to the north, while his love rival, Arash, who also works for the Boss, traces them. This all ends up in a party held by the Boss, in which Reza saves his son and the Boss is finally killed.
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2008, Film International
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