A Time For Drunken Horses

"Bad"

A Time For Drunken Horses Review


Now here's a story the modern moviegoer can relate to:

On the Iranian side of the Kurdish border with Iraq, a young boy names Ayoub (Ayoub Ahmadi) -- along with three brothers and two sisters -- toil away as day-laboring book smugglers while their father (also a smuggler) is gone at work. Tragedy strikes when they learn that their dwarf brother, 15-year old Madi (Mehdi Ekhtiar-Dini) will die in a month from an unknown illness, and that only an immediate operation will extend his life, a few extra months, at that.

Ayoub's sister Ameneh (Ameneh Ekhtiar-Dini) agrees to marry an Iraqi if the groom's family pays for Madi's operation. A deal is struck, but the mother-in-law backs out as she wants nothing to do with the dying kid, so she gives the family a mule instead. It's up to Ayoub to get Madi and the mule over the frozen mountains to Iraq, where he can sell the animal to raise money for the operation.

I'm sure life really is like this for the Kurds, but I'm really not sure I care to watch a movie about it. In case you haven't figured it out from the rather morose plot summary, A Time for Drunken Horses is one of the most boring and utterly uninspired films ever put to celluloid, redeemed only by its zippy 77-minute running time and the few scenes where the smugglers' horses are getting drunk -- hence the title -- in order to be coerced into walking through the snow. Seriously, there is not even a big ending to rally around. There's not even an ending at all. The movie just stops, as if they ran out of money.

As for Bahman Ghobadi's filmmaking, there's a lot left to be desired, too. While no one in front of or behind the camera has much obvious talent (though Ghobadi's direction is at least competent), the biggest razz is earned by the subtitles, which give you the distinct impression you're missing an awful lot. Worse than a dubbed Kung Fu movie, we probably get to read a subtitle for one line out of every four spoken. Then again, maybe additional titles weren't required since nothing much was happening. Or maybe the translator just didn't understand Kurdish.

Now, I'm sure if my life were pathetic enough that I had to inebriate a horse to raise money for my kid brother's operation or I had to hear other kids shrug and say things like, "No, my dad and his mule were blown up by a mine," this movie might have contained some appeal. But as it stands, very few viewers are going to be inspired to wake up long enough to feel empathy for these poor characters, brave though they might be.

Maybe Ghobadi could go back to the drawing board and make a movie just about drunken horses. Now that would be something to sit up for.

Aka Zamani barayé masti asbha.

A time for sleeping in a movie theater.



A Time For Drunken Horses

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 13th September 2000

Distributed by: Shooting Gallery

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Fresh: 28 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.