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The Independent Critic

Director
Ahmad Reza Darvish
Writer
Ramin Mebdy
Running Time
26:08

 "Duel" Review 
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This Iranian short is especially effective in its first 15 minutes, as we are introduced to the story of Zeynal (Pejman Bazeghi), an Iranian soldier who has been imprisoned for 20 years and deemed a traitor. Reportedly the first Iranian film to feature Dolby Digital Sound, "Duel" captured 7 Crystal Phoenix Awards at the 22nd Fajr Film Festival and has played at film festivals throughout the United States.
 
"Duel" has a strong flavor of the American cowboy western sensibility about it, and Darvish captures beautifully the stress that followed the eight year war between Iraq and Iran over a mysterious chest said to hold valuable documents.
 
"Duel" is beautifully photographed and paced, though the film's latter half turns adds a touch too much melodrama that is jarring to the senses. Bazeghi does a nice job as the semi-mysterious Zeynal, and Saeed Rad is equally solid as his Zeynal's primary obstacle, Eskandar.
 
Madjid Entezami's musical score is a perfect accompaniment, and kudos must go to the entire production team for a set and costume design that captures the mood sublimely.
 
The last film from Darvish, "Duel' is a solid example of the quality cinema still being produced in Iran.
    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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