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The Lizard Review

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A rough tongued jailbird escapes from prison disguised as a Mullah, and is mistaken for a saint by the flock of a local village.

★★★★

There's a whiff of Ealing about Kamal Tabrizi's satirical tale of a rough-tongued jailbird who escapes disguised as a mullah. Lying low while awaiting a false passport, he's mistaken for an unconventional saint by the flock of a border village. But, as with those supposedly cosy comedies, there's a sharp edge to the humour as it lampoons clerical pride and questions the hegemony of the religious establishment without once challenging the sanctity of Islam's true message.

It's subversive stuff, but what made it acceptable to the Iranian authorities is the fact that the excellent Parvis Parastui's nimble criminal undergoes a conversion of his own, as he places charity on a par with faith and uses Quentin Tarantino to explain how there is no perfect path to God.

Subversive stuff, at once tempering it's own lampooning of the clergy and establishment with an assured character arc in its central performance and what an excellent performance it is, from Paratsui.

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