Gabbeh

"OK"

Gabbeh Review


Outside of the work of Abbas Kiarostami, Iranian cinema can be a mixed bag. Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Gabbeh, while heralding plenty of top ten list appearances and four star reviews, is a mixed bag that's really quite typical for that country's filmmaking industry. The images are lush and simply fascinating, while the story is nothing special at all.

A gabbeh is a type of woven rug, and the one in question is a gabbeh owned by an old couple (never named) who treasure it as an heirloom. This gabbeh features a picture of a man and woman riding on a horse, and when the couple goes to wash the rug (which is accomplished by tossing it into a river), the girl sprouts to life. Her story involves the other figure seen on the rug, a man who loved her from afar, for reasons we'll discover as the film plays out.

It's a mere 68 minutes until the credits roll, and Gabbeh feels appropriately slight. But the film's visual beauty will distract you from the shallowness of the plot. It's quite reminiscent of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was wondrous to behold, but ultimately much ado about nothing. To call it a masterpiece is a bit disingenuous.

Of course there are no special effects in Gabbeh, unlike Tiger: Gabbeh doesn't morph out of the rug. It's just a poof and the girl (also called "Gabbeh") is there. And that simplicity at least makes us feel like we aren't being tricked into seeing more on screen than is really there.

The film is small, but that may make it even more memorable.



Gabbeh

Facts and Figures

Run time: 75 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 25th June 1997

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Gabbeh, as Uncle


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Advertisement
Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Ant-Man Movie Review

Ant-Man Movie Review

The increasingly stale Marvel formula gets a blast of fresh air in this rollocking adventure...

Love & Mercy Movie Review

Love & Mercy Movie Review

An unusually inventive approach brings this story to life, as the filmmakers get into the...

Ted 2 Movie Review

Ted 2 Movie Review

Fans of the surprise 2012 hit Ted will find plenty to love in this sequel,...

Advertisement