Under The Shadow (15)

Under The Shadow (15)

Directed by Babak Anvari
Picturehouse, Liverpool
30th September – 6th October 2016

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Although this is intended to be symbolic of female suppression in Iran it stills ends up as a standard schlock horror movie.

It includes, suppress the yawns… a kid who sees ghost figures, a haunted house, a neurotic mother, a doll as a protector to its child owner, and so on.

It is set in Tehran in 1988 with a mother Shideh (Narges Rashidi) and her young daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) unable or unwilling – it is not clear which – to leave their apartment due to the constant bombing taking place in the city.

Denied a place to learn medicine because of her involvement in an anti-government protest during the Iranian Revolution she is faced with a life of domestic drudgery.

Dorsa has become highly stressed because her beloved doll has disappeared. Shideh reasons that if she can find the doll and placate her daughter then all will be well. If only life was that simple.

It’s a cliche I know but the movie is so formulaic. It makes some relevant points about women being downtrodden in a male-oriented society but these are almost swept aside by the largely unimaginative plot.

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