Appropriate Behavior movie full length review - A new film star has been born!
A new film-making star has been born! This is not an indie movie, this is not an LGBT movie, this is simply great! Ms. Akhavan is so talented on so many levels.
This stuff is much better than "Girls" and other similar indie pretentious accounts of white middle-class daughters whose biggest problem in life is that their boyfriends are more handsome than themselves, which makes these girls bloody insecure, and than they comfort themselves with some trashy losers from the street.
I love this movie, because it is totally post-indie and post-everything production. Shirin is seemingly a girl who has everything, looks and brain, and even pleasant and pretty nice parents, but who still has real, depressing problem. Her problem is that, due to her age, education and ways of socialisation she is caught up between rapid identity liberalisation, feminism, sexual freedom, on the one hand, and still remains of firm traditional identity constrains, that come from her family background, on the other hand. This is so much a story of current second generation immigrants everywhere in USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Scandinavia, etc.Her family is so typical for North American immigrants - they seem to be worldly people, but actually they still know only their original ways and hold on them, as the only source of security. Being familiar to that community, I am so proud someone has finally started telling this story, in relation to NY and these, youngest generation.
The second layer of the story, the tension between lesbianism, and bisexuality, is also done very interestingly. It also deconstructs in very subtle way the fashionable urban myth of "bisexuality", as something that is cool for every woman, and belief that, after being in love with a woman, bisexual girls can always successfully replace her with a hot guy, or threesome. Shirin's character so obviously demonstrates that "bisexuality" does not help when a woman loses another woman whom she loves. I actually liked sex scenes a lot in this movie, they were so effective and graphic. I simply can't believe the same person who acted in them, also directed them.
I also like the interesting anatomy of her relationship with Maxin, who is seemingly a dorky, unattractive and insecure girl, but actually much stronger than she looks like, and, a real, genuine love of Shirin. Striking contrast between their looks and styles is a great accent in the movie: it underlines the strength of love.
And finally, the humor in the movie does not undermine the seriousness of the issue. Conflict with a loving family, which denies the crucial issues of their children, is one of the most painful features of current adulthood, no matter how emancipated and self-focused those people in question are.
There are scenes that could have been improved, and we could have seen more of a Shirin's non-Persian friends, who definitely must have influenced her in life. Also, some situations with family could have been more elaborated. Still, this is incomparably better than "Girls", so I hope that this talented young woman will get at least as much chance in this business as a person who wrote "Girls" has got, and I am sure, the screen result will be much more interesting. Kudos to Ms. Akhavan!