Metri Shesh Va Nim
starring Payman Maadi, Navid Mohammadzadeh, Parinaz Izadyar, Hooman Kiaee
written and directed by Saeed Roustayi
by Walter Chaw With only ten minutes left in its running time, Saeed Roustayi's Just 6.5 introduces a brief musical sting in a film that, up to that moment, had relied entirely on diegetic audio and long, rapid-fire monologues delivered at high volume and intensity for its soundtrack. Said cue highlights erstwhile villain Nasser Khakzad (Navid Mohammadzadeh) drawing a line in the sand in a matter concerning the dispensation of a house he's bought for his parents. It's the fulcrum on which the entire film rests: not whether or not the Iranian state will confiscate a home, but the level of desperation that drives the lower classes into crime--and then the addictive nature of wealth that makes it impossible to retire from crime. As Nasser confesses when asked why he didn't quit while he was ahead, "My eyes were still hungry." The whole film is about the question of class and the possibility of ever climbing from one to the next. Everything in Just 6.5 is a barter at the world's late-capitalism bazaar. For instance, the crazed narco cop on Nasser's tail, Samad (Payman Maadi of A Separation), is dangled a bribe by drug lord Nasser that would essentially vault him into a different circle. It's a boost he needs, we gather from a few tossed-off comments about his kid and a phone call he gets at the worst time that he has to take while the whole world is crowding in around him. He doesn't take it because of "his honour," but he might as well have. It makes no difference.