The Last Step (Ali Mosaffa, 2012): Iran

Reviewed By: Tyler Fourmy. Reviewed at AFI Fest 2012.

The Last Step is a compelling puzzle of a film that tells the ironic tale of an Iranian couple before, during and after the husbands death. This was one of my favorite films from the AFI Filmfest 2012. Although it deals with death and mourning, this film is not in one way sad. its a very refreshing tale of human interactions. Interestingly its directed, written and staring Ali Mosaffa, who plays one of the lead characters. As pompous as that sounds, it was still a great film.

The movie starts with the mourning shot of Leili (Leila Hatami) who is being filmed for a movie. She is mourning for a fake husband, but it reality her husband is already dead. Now from here the movie begins to wrap onto itself, repeating key shots and diving deeper into each characters lives behind the death. I cant tell more than that without revealing the story, but its a puzzle well worth the fixation. Its a really interesting, funny tale that focus on the guilt behind death, and the way people interact in basic social setting.

Its as if the dead husband is drifting through space and time, coming back to situations and living them as if he is already dead. I believe the film takes place directly after the man has died and before his soul leaves, as if he is in purgatory reliving the last parts of his life out of order. Of course Ive talked to others who have seen the film that think differently.

The camera work was simple with lots of low shots, nothing fancy just humor in the character interactions we are watching, dancing, instruments and laughter. This is a refreshing change of pace to the movies I usually view, but it still fulfilled my minds need to analyze and solve the puzzle of The Last Step. You should watch this film.

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