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Hendi and Hormoz (A Movie Review)

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Hendi and Hormoz


Starring Hamed Alipour, Zohreh Eslami, Asma Daneh-Chin, Mohammad Banouj, Abdorosol Darga Payma, Kamal Zakery, Fatemeh Zareig and Fatemeh Zakery.

Screenplay by Hossein Farokhzadeh and Abbas Amini.

Directed by Abbas Amini.

Distributed by Dreamlab Films. 89 minutes. Not Rated.

Screened for The 1st Iranian Film Festival New York.

In the United States, arranged marriages seem to be way in the rear-view mirror, an old-fashioned remnant of a time long past. However, in many areas of the world they still happen, sometimes even are the norm.

This somewhat dark film is about a young (very young) couple who have to get to know each other, come to like each other, and deal with economic realities under the umbrella of a marriage that neither one (particularly her) seemed to want.

He is 16. She is 13. (This is a pretty standard age range for this kind of thing, apparently.) Neither knows much about life. He wants to get a good job. She wants to finish school. Neither one was really ready for the complications and responsibilities of marriage. However, if there is one constant in the world, it is that life does not wait for you to get ready.

They don’t know what they want from life. They don’t know each other, and don’t particularly like the other one early on. Hendi wants to just be a normal schoolgirl and sees that a husband makes her stand out, and not in a good way.

Hormoz wants to be a bread-winner, but his inability to find proper work has him take more and more questionable job choices, eventually falling in with the local black market and putting himself in danger.

It is a very similar story in many ways, in other ways it is rather alien. Despite specific trappings which are specific to the area, boiled down to its essence, it’s just a story of a young couple trying to find their way in the world.

It also shows a fascinating community (slightly confusing for people who don’t know the region: his name is Hormoz and the people of their area are known as the Hormuz).

Hendi and Hormoz has the serious and suspenseful feel of the work of fellow Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, About Elly). It is very well done, naturally acted and dramatically. Hopefully it will find similar recognition in US art houses.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved. Posted: January 14, 2019.

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