12:30 2:35 4:45 7:00 9:10
Through Tuesday, December 18
DIRECTED BY MILAD ALAMI
Esmail is a darkly handsome Iranian immigrant to Denmark, on the verge of being thrown out of the country if he can’t find a Danish woman to marry. He dresses well and frequents posh bars, easily ingratiating himself with attractive Danes who are seduced by his good looks, gentle manners, and apparent decency. But he’s a man caught between his self-interest and self-respect. Things get a lot more complicated when he meets a beautiful fellow countryman (Iranian singer Soho Rezanejad) who immediately grasps his game plan, but finds herself attracted to him nonetheless. THE CHARMER is a debut movie by a director who understands that a psychological thriller need not focus on violent crime. Rather it wraps its head around the notion that small, seemingly insignificant acts may cause pain and trauma to those who become players in our lives.
DENMARK / SWEDEN 2017 102 MINS. IN DANISH AND PERSIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
“An accomplished, deceptively titled debut feature from Danish-based Iranian filmmaker Milad Alami… What seems a premise for an earnest social-issue drama is darkened and complicated by a progressively noir-ish strain of morally elusive mystery… a topical, tightly wound slow-burner. Alami’s keen-eyed, detail-oriented insight into Scandinavia’s growing Iranian community, with its subtle internal divisions and its sliding scale between assimilation and proud cultural preservation, gives THE CHARMER resonance beyond its more intimate effectiveness as a character thriller; it’s a film that shares its somewhat cool empathy across the very different experiences of people on either side of the integration line. Esmaili’s quietly agitated, deftly code-switching performance, meanwhile, must persuasively evoke any one of those life stories depending on the company he’s in, holding the viewer’s gaze while continually backing away from our full acquaintance.”
– Guy Lodge, Variety