Simplest of the stories can be told movingly if told with a good heart.
I never watched an Iran movie and always refrained coz they are extremely sentimental is what I read about them and that kept me away from them.
My premonition came true with this, it moved me in every way for the kid, when he ran through the streets to find out where his friend his, when he met an old man whom gave him what he should be, when he persuaded his mother to go out and return his friend a book, I can see that but my heart was always in the boy and with the boy, I wanted him to win and return the book.
The opening and ending are strange for me, coz the boy whom I thought is the main hero comes and goes in few frames but the whole story is about his friend but I would say it's this boy, who is seldom seen is the protagonist coz he drove the whole story while his friend was just running for him.
Technically, this is not great coz camera is simplistic and there are no production qualities. Also, so much could have been edited out that is still a part of the movie. Like the way this boy persuades hi mother is itself 6 minutes. But it's neither slow nor boring coz of a stronger and a curious story. The dialogues I understood through subtitles seemed apt. Acting is terrific and I would give the boy a special gift.
I heard of this film, when my FTII (film institute ) friend referred this and I must say, this is a typical FTII movie, its an easy watch but hard to digest. I am better off not watching Irani movies coz I cannot just keep wiping off my eyes, i did that 4-5 times in this 75 minute film.
Abbas Kiarostami, the director should be credited for all that he did and in fact he is now one of the very few heart ful directors who has a heart more than a mind.
It's 4/5 for a movie that moved me extremely.