Director Jafar Panahi hops aboard a taxi in Tehran, and lends an ear to his passengers, as they in turn, bare their minds to the driver. His passengers range from a vendor of pirated videos to his young niece who is all set to shoot a short film, from a human rights lawyer to a couple of women with gold fishes.
Parallels are bound to be drawn between ‘Taxi Tehran’ and Kiarostami’s ‘Ten’, and yet, Panahi strikes a diligent surprise by keeping his film delectably simple. His conversations with his passengers smell of the humanist that the film maker essentially is, and asserts that there is no stopping creativity, even in the most despotic of times.
There are the intermittent laughs rooted in reality that the film holds in store, which never let ‘Taxi Tehran’ slip into drab territory. In no time, Panahi has us eagerly waiting for his next passenger, as he swerves the cab to a side to let out a rider.
‘Taxi Tehran’ is a cinematic gem that defies censorship in the way only a tremendously inventive film maker can. Experimenting with his narrative structure in more ways than one, Panahi asserts that fine cinema would forever, find a way to express itself.
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