Farsan was the first of the press screenings held this week - the first week of press screenings of SIFF 2010. For this special occasion I was able to juggle some meetings around and work late night in order to attend the 10 AM screening. I'm glad I did as Farsan was a light treat even though it dealt with some serious issues. Suggest adding the film to your list of to-do's during the festival. There will be three opportunities to watch it: Sunday, May 23, 6:30pm at Pacific Place, Tuesday, May 25, 4:30pm at Pacific Place, and Saturday, May 29, 9:15pm at the Harvard Exit.
Aziz, played wonderfully by Jan Fares is the main character of the story. Living in Sweden, though presumably from his language skills not a native of the country he has an adult son who's assimilated and married to a Swedish woman. Aziz works in a bicycle shop as a jack of all trades. Friendly with his co-worker, boss and practically everyone he meets Aziz seems generally content. He has strong beliefs on what woman want, his role in the cycle of life and the importance of family. His main excitement and pleasure in life is the impending birth of a grandchild. Of course there's a little more to the story than is being told by practically everyone we meet. This ranges from his son and wife (about their pregnancy), his boss (about his issues at home), and Aziz himself (especially about his confidence with the ladies). Leading to some truly laugh out loud moments, yet sweet and tearful ones as well. Meaning the official festival description quoted below is fairly accurate:
"Aziz is a confident and handsome elderly man who sets out on a mission to find a new wife. From the director of SIFF hits Jalla Jalla! and Kopps comes a heart-warming and multicultural comedy about love, friendship, and misguided communication between the sexes."
Though it doesn't mention the even more elderly dog that serves as the reminder that death is inevitable so life must be lived aggressively. Or maybe the role of the dog was just to make me cry. Either way, I had a good time and suspect most people will find Aziz infectious enough to ignore the fact that it's not exactly a revolutionary story. Technically very well done with natural performances, a sense of big budget polish, smooth camera work shots and an intimate feel combine making this one a likely crowd pleaser. In my opinion no need to leave yourself out of that crowd. Not everything's gotta be edgy you know. ;-)