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The Independent Critic

Ahmad Reza Darvish
Ramin Mebdy
Running Time

 "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.
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