Film Review – Tehran: City of Love

Iran has found itself in the news a lot recently. If it’s not the breakdown of the nuclear deal or maritime piracy it’s the alleged attacks on Saudi Arabia. It’s a country we hear little about unless there’s a diplomatic crisis or something awful has happened. However, it’s easy to forget that until the 1979 revolution it was a relatively liberal, pro-Western and progressive country. Ordinary Iranians are just like anyone else, with the same hopes and fears. Tehran: City of Love follows three lonely people looking for happiness.

Hessam (Amir Hessam Bakhtiari) is an ex-professional bodybuilder who jumps at the chance to offer his personal training services to an attractive young hopeful. Mina (Forough Ghajabagli) is a secretary who uses her sexy voice to arrange dates with men but lacks the body confidence to be herself. Vahid (Mehdi Saki) is a beleaguered religious singer whose dream is to perform at weddings. Three ordinary people looking for love of the streets of Tehran.

Tehran: City of Love is a sweet and sour tale of everyday life. The highs, the lows, the disappointments and the triumphs. Ali Jaberansari’s tale is told with plenty of humour and an off-kilter candour which makes it hard not to like. Forough Ghajabagli stands out as the dithering dater whose lack of self-belief constantly impedes her chances of finding someone special. Tehran: City of Love is wholly unexpected and a slightly daring glimpse into the unknown world of relationships in the Iranian capital.

Tehran: City of Love is out in cinemas on 11 October.

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