Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Under the Shadow: Not Bad …

10th May, 2017.

Hmm … 

Do you ever the get the feeling I … umm … like watching a film or two … ?

You don’t … ?

You’ve not been paying attention, have you … ?

But let me just emphasise the point, here.

I like watching films.

TV, as well: and listening to music.

Brian Eno’s Discreet Music, in case you’re wondering.

I’m in that kind of mood.

I’ve ALSO been in the mood — having a quiet night in — to catch a film.

You’re looking at the poster, aren’t you … ?

And asking yourself if I’ve sat down with a copy of Under the Shadow, aren’t you … ?

You’d be right … 


Set in Tehran, during the Iran-Iraq WarUnder the Shadow introduces us to Shideh (Narges Rashidi), a former medical student desperate to continue her training: but barred from doing so, as a result of her political activities during the Iranian Revolution.

Barred, and depressed?

She heads home: only to find her husband, Irej, is leaving her and their daughter, Dorsa … 

He’s a doctor: one who’s been conscripted and placed on the front line.

If that’s not enough … ?

The Iraqi missile that lands on the roof doesn’t exactly look reassuring … 


Now … 

Was I impressed?

Or was that “Not Bad,” comment in the title telling you something … ?

Well … 

I got interested in seeing Under the Shadow as a result of Mark Kermode’s review on the BBC news channel.

I’ve usually found him a reliable guide to a good, or bad, movie.

He’s rated a few I’ve seen … 

And spoke well of this film.


I think I can only agree with him … up to a certain extent.

Yes: Under the Shadow is a watchable film.

But feel setting it during a war was something that didn’t add to the fright factor: at least for me.   Despite knowing the Civil War setting was something that worked both for Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone.

Given that?   And the fact I feel it may be just a touch too derivative of The Babadook?

Well … 

I liked Under the Shadow.   It’s not bad: just not high on the list of films I tell you you have to go and see.
Under the Shadow.

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