Hussein is a pizza delivery man, who becomes uncomfortably aware of the vast gap between rich and poor. Finally, he turns to crime.
After a jewellery store robbery goes wrong and the owner is murdered, one crook commits suicide and the film goes into flashback... The opening might sound like the set-up for a film noir, but the setting - modern-day Iran - is a world away from Hollywood's shadowy back alleys and shiny cars.
So too is the pace of the film, as extended sequences overstay their welcome. Panahi, working from a script by Abbas Kiarostami, emphasises the social pressures on the characters, mildly politicising the story, as Hussein (Emadeddin) scoots around Tehran delivering pizzas and witnessing the hypocrisy of his rich neighbours.
As a portrait of one man's descent into crime, the film has a valid psychological reality, but it tries your patience in conveying Hussein's slow realisation of his dead-end existence.