Monday, September 2, 2013

909. GABBEH (1996)

Running Time: 69 minutes
Directed By: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Written By: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Main Cast: Shaghayeh Djodat, Abbas Sayah, Hossein Moharami, Rogheih Moharami, Parvaneh Ghalandari
Click here to view the trailer

900th POST

Wow, 900 posts, yet only 720ish movies reviewed. That's a lot of recaps and general blabbing! Anyway, last night I took in "Gabbeh", which was short & sweet and thank God it was.

Gonna' be real honest here and tell you that there wasn't much resembling a plot going on here and mainly I think it was all supposed to be about the film's use of color, poetry and all that artsy-fartsy "bollocks". Hey, I don't mean to rip on art films, but can we at least TRY to put together a decent plot in the midst of all the "expressing oneself" stuff? Okay, I'm being hard on this one too soon and too much, as there is a plot. The plot revolves around a woman, Gabbeh (Djodat) wanting to marry a mysterious, howling man on horseback. However, the girl's father makes her wait until her uncle finds a wife first. So the family goes by foot, searches far and wife and finally finds the uncle a wife. It took a while because he had some particular taste preference, as he had a dream of a woman who sang like a canary, near a stream. So now that the uncle's married, the father makes the girl wait even longer, until her mother gives birth. I guess, basically, the father doesn't want the girl getting married and tries to prolong it as much as he can. Anyway, the girl visits what seems to be a futuristic version of herself, as an very elderly lady and tells herself this story. I'll just go ahead and quit while I'm ahead.

I hate to be stubborn and ignorant, but I just didn't get much out of this film and sometimes that's the best time to have a little fun with my reviews. I DID like the film's use of color, which was quite rich and vibrant. The women in their colorful robes, against the backdrop of the blue skies and basic nature. Very good looking stuff and that's why this film won't get a '1' or even a '2'. Otherwise, the BOOK is really grasping at straws when it labels this as a "must see". I just don't see anything about it that would compel me to tell someone they just have to see this movie. All I have to say is that Iranian cinema better thank it's lucky stars that Abbas Kiarostami came along and made some decent films, thus putting Iran and it's cinema industry on the map. For those playing the home game, this is actually the second Makhlmalbaf film I've reviewed, with the other one being "Kandahar", a better film, but also kinda forgetful and also not a "must see". If you're into rich colors, really good looking films and poetic pieces, then by all means, give this one a go and I hope you enjoy it. Otherwise, steer clear.

RATING: 3.5/10  I can't go any higher than that and even that's squeezing every drop I can out of it. I'm in dire need of something really good. Seems I may need to self induce a good movie...


September 2, 2013  11:38pm


  1. I took rather a long time to respond to this, because I was not sure myself what i made of it.
    In the end I think, regrettably, I have to say I missed getting it. Fully accept that is my fault, but I think the culture gap was a little to wide, and i will have failed to understand all the references that would have made things clearer.

    1. Yep, I fully accept fault for this one too and chalked it up to a culture clash for the most part.


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