Review: ‘Too Far Away, Too Close’

A neurosurgeon must come to terms with the imminent death of his teenage son in the intermittently gripping but ultimately dissatisfying "Too Far Away, Too Close." Directed by sure-footed "Under the Moonlight" helmer Seyed Reza Mirkarimi, this pic has a similar mix of good and bad ideas, including a finale that calls directly on divine intervention. Well-made with some stunning desert visuals, the film's religious POV will likely steer it to specialized fests with an interest in spiritual cinema.

A neurosurgeon must come to terms with the imminent death of his teenage son in the intermittently gripping but ultimately dissatisfying “Too Far Away, Too Close.” Directed by sure-footed “Under the Moonlight” helmer Seyed Reza Mirkarimi, this pic has a similar mix of good and bad ideas, including a finale that calls directly on divine intervention. Well-made with some stunning desert visuals, the film’s religious POV will likely steer it to specialized fests with an interest in spiritual cinema.

Mahmoud, a top neurologist who has long neglected his wife and kids for his work, is shocked to discover his 18-year-old son, Sahman, is afflicted with an inoperable brain tumor. He sets off in his expensive new car for the desert, where the teen, an astronomy student, has gone on a field trip with his class. The doctor’s strange encounters and experiences in the desert bring him closer not only to the son he barely knows (and never actually encounters), but to himself and to God. A giant sandstorm in what looks like an Iranian Monument Valley brings the drama to a spectacular if unlikely close.

Too Far Away, Too Close

Iran

Production

Produced, directed by Seyed Reza Mirkarimi. Screenplay, Mirkarimi, Mohammad Reza Gohari.

Crew

Camera (color), Hamid Khozouie Abyane; editor, Bahram Dehqan; music, Mohammad Reza Aliqoli; production/costume designer, Amir Esbati. Reviewed at Fajr Film Festival (competing), Feb. 6, 2005. Original title: Khilli dors khilli nazdek. Running time: 128 MIN.

With

Masoud Raygan, Afsin Hashemi, Elham Hamidi.
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