Watch Marmoulak

  • 2004
  • 1 hr 55 min
  • 8.4  (22,108)

Marmoulak, also known as Lizard, is a 2004 Iranian comedy-drama film directed by Kamal Tabrizi. The movie received critical acclaim and won several awards both domestically and internationally. The movie is centered on Reza, a petty thief and small-time crook who is promised a sum of money if he plays the role of a religious cleric in a small village. After being released from prison, Reza heads to the village, not knowing that he will have to pose as an Islamic cleric who has recently arrived from Tehran. Reza has no knowledge of religion or the Quran, and his only hope is to pretend and deceive the villagers.

Reza's cover as a cleric is quickly blown when he accidentally kills a lizard, which is believed to be a sacred animal in the village. He is almost run out of town, but a crafty villager named Somayeh saves him by convincing the villagers that Reza is a miracle worker who will bring good luck and prosperity to the village.

Reza has no choice but to go along with the charade, and he soon finds himself becoming beloved by the villagers, who believe that he has divine powers. Reza's new persona as a cleric becomes all the more convincing as he works magic and performs miracles to help the villagers. However, with the arrival of a real cleric, Reza's position as the spiritual leader of the village is threatened.

Marmoulak is a satire on the Iranian society's reverence for religion and religious leaders. The movie displays the lengths to which people will go to blindly follow someone, just because he is perceived to be an authority. Reza's position as the village cleric is based entirely on deception, yet he is able to gain the trust of the villagers and becomes their leader, simply by playing their religious fervor to his advantage.

The character of Reza is played brilliantly by Parviz Parastui, who won the Best Actor award at the Fajr Film Festival for his portrayal. Reza's character is seen as a typical petty criminal who has no morals until the villagers misconstrue him as a cleric, and he starts to redefine himself. The transformation in his character is subtle but significant. He goes from being a crook to a hero, and eventually recognizes his elevated role as the cleric of the village. The climax of the film sees Reza making a decision that goes beyond his own self-interest, and it is this turn in his character that is the most satisfying element of the movie.

The supporting cast is also excellent, with Bahram Ebrahimi as Somayeh, the woman who supports Reza despite his deception, and Reza Saeedi as the actual religious leader who arrives at the village. The movie is filled with hilarious moments, witty dialogues, and is peppered with subtle digs at the society’s hypocrisies, be it the mafia-style gangsters or the gullible villagers.

The cinematography set in picturesque rural Iran captures the essence of the village life and traditions, which forms the backdrop of the story. The score of the film is also noteworthy. The music is often used to heighten the comic as well as the poignant moments of the film.

Marmoulak is a movie that will make you laugh, but it is also one that has a message to convey. The movie is more than just a satire on the religious fervor of the Iranian society. It makes a statement on the innate humanity that transcends one's religious beliefs, and how we can rise above our prejudices and preconceived notions to recognize the goodness in people.

In conclusion, Marmoulak is a must-watch film that won critical acclaim for its witty screenplay, memorable performances, and its poignant message that is universal in nature. The movie has been screened in over a hundred international film festivals and won multiple awards, including the Best Film and Best Screenplay awards in the Cairo International Film Festival.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 55 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.4  (22,108)