Circumstance

Circumstance Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: A suspenseful tale of love and family upended by obsession and suspicion, Circumstance is also a provocative coming-of-age story that cracks open the hidden, underground world of Iranian youth culture, where a young woman's most electrifying passions can become the most dangerous of secrets.A suspenseful tale of love and family upended by obsession and suspicion, Circumstance is also a provocative coming-of-age story that cracks open the hidden, underground world of Iranian youth culture, where a young woman's most electrifying passions can become the most dangerous of secrets. (Participant Media) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 100
    This movie doesn't work unless the central relationship between Atafeh and Shireen works. It does, beautifully; whether together in a nightclub or alone in a bedroom, Boosheri and Kazemy find a delicacy and sensitivity that reinforces, not diminishes, their strength.
  2. Reviewed by: James Greenberg
    Jul 30, 2011
    80
    Overall this is an impressive debut from a filmmaker with something to say and the talent to say it.
  3. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Sep 16, 2011
    75
    Offers an inside look at Iran in all its cultural complexity.
  4. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Aug 24, 2011
    67
    Perhaps it's unfair to compare Circumstance to the very different "Persepolis," but it's hard not to drift off to Marjane Satrapi's more pungent and personally inflected evocation of the same terrain, in which the characters are as vivid as their surroundings.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 7, 2011
    63
    The strongest message for most Western audiences will be the way the subjugation of women saturates every aspect of this society, and clearly informs even Mehran's kinkiness. Yes, but I wish Keshavarz had chosen a more low-key, everyday approach to two ordinary teenagers, and gone slowly on the lush eroticism and cinematic voyeurism.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 26, 2011
    60
    Keshavarz's vision is clear and heartfelt, and everyone has an urgency in their eyes.
  7. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 24, 2011
    40
    The closer this parable inches toward tragedy, the more you can feel the gap between good intentions and generic exotica-grandstanding widening into an unbridgeable chasm.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 28, 2015
    8
    Circumstance is a surprisingly complex and intriguing look at Iranian lives. Various tensions between sensuality and repression, family andCircumstance is a surprisingly complex and intriguing look at Iranian lives. Various tensions between sensuality and repression, family and the state, and too many more to mention play out over the course of a short story. While not a masterpiece, Circumstance is nicely drawn and worth a look, especially if you are unfamiliar with Persian culture. Expand
  2. Jan 5, 2012
    8
    At first it was confusing as I am unsure whether it is faithful to the culture. Women must cover their heads yet the girls wear high heels andAt first it was confusing as I am unsure whether it is faithful to the culture. Women must cover their heads yet the girls wear high heels and makeup. Not knowing the culture and only hearing snippets of what Iran is really like through NPR, the story was difficult to get involved in. But this changed as the fluent relationship of Atafeh and Shireen becomes exposed (to me). The spirit of the film is bubbling just under the false veneer of all the characters. I wanted them to burst out and stand up for themselves as in America. But the heartbreak is they are all trapped by their Circumstance under the repressive Iranian culture; even those characters I identified as evil. They are all searching for love, but even if they are lucky enough to find it, it becomes - suppress or die. Once I realized, from watching the extras on the DVD, the risk Ms Keshavra and all the Iranians took, it made the film all the more poignant. It is so important for us to know how lucky we are here and how deplorable conditions are around the world. Films such as this are must see; especially for the young people who shape not only our world but the global world. Expand
  3. Sep 17, 2011
    6
    The circumstances which the two girls in Circumstance find themselves struggling against are those created by the oppressive IranianThe circumstances which the two girls in Circumstance find themselves struggling against are those created by the oppressive Iranian theocracy. Every single thing which they want to do as teenagers is deemed illegal by the ruling mullahs and enforced by the corrupt morality police. To circumvent the rules, they use secret code words and signals to sneak into underground parties where there is dancing between the sexes, drinking, and some recreational drug use. To add even more danger to their escapades, the girls, who are best friends, discover they are falling in love with each other which could destroy not own their own, but their familyâ Expand
  4. Dec 19, 2011
    6
    I found a delightful film, beautiful script, enjoyable acting, beautiful art direction and everything else ... What is disenchanted is knowingI found a delightful film, beautiful script, enjoyable acting, beautiful art direction and everything else ... What is disenchanted is knowing that in Iran and many other countries with this "religion" exists outside of fiction, and women are deprived of many things. The world has gone through so much and it has not changed yet.

    On the political level this film is sensational! It's a real lesson about the current "circumstances" that Iranian society is found, a consequence of the xiita revolution which occurred in country in the late 1970, which overthrew a dictator and the other was placed in power.
    The conversation they have in the "rental shop" shows well, and even an ironic way, the manipulation of the media and culture promoted by the government, as well as references and links to the human rights from the movie, which are fantastic. The "submission" of the women to men, by imposition, is also present in much of the film, many scenes that reach right to revolt and indignation.

    However, the romance part, although the relationship between them is beautiful and the characters were combined, is too vague and ends up being disappointing, the final says it so.
    I was under the impression that the beginning is the end of the film, was so open that I ended up leaving that question.
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