Published Apr 14, 2011About 20 minutes into Lost Journey, new Iranian student immigrant Pedram (Reza Sholeh) starts griping about the illegality of beating women in Canada with his more culturally versed cousin, Arya (Pedram Ziaei), only the sound wasn't recorded properly, so you have to rely on subtitles and key words to discern just what is going on. You certainly can't rely on visuals to tell the story, since the coverage, shot composition and non-existent lighting give a desultory, amateur porn or queer art house vibe that suggests cinematographer technological bewilderment.
In all fairness, this galling cinematic incompetence is the bestselling feature of first-time director Ant Horasanli's admonition about the perils of falling prey to loose Canadian morals, aside from the presence of Persian pop star Andy Madadin, whose permed mullet deserves a film of its own. At least you can laugh while being preached at by someone that fails entirely at communicating their point.
Now, Pedram comes to Canada to learn English, which he seemingly does within two days, discussing how "fucking cool" it is to "party," when not giving attitude in class or driving around with his cousin looking at enormous, tacky houses that they apparently want to own some day. It also isn't long before he's waxing "gangsta" with his Persian homies, chillin' with white sluts and driving their kick-ass Honda down Yonge St., listening to beats on their way to the insidious Warehouse, where they drop E and rave till dawn.
What makes these plot developments so glorious in the worst possible way is that the cars and the club are introduced with cheap rap video colour filter shots and split screens, with terrible "thug" music playing on the soundtrack. It's as though there's nothing more awesome in the world than driving through Toronto with Pedram and Nima (Hamid Savalanpour) on a Wednesday night, drinking peach schnapps and smoking weed.
All kidding aside, the biggest problem with Lost Journey is that we never get the impression that Pedram was manipulated or influenced by a flawed culture. Instead, we sense that he's sort of an indulgent, superficial moron unable to take responsibility for his actions, which I'm sure wasn't the intent of the film. Of course, if we identified with Pedram's plight, the film wouldn't be so unthinkably hilarious in every possible MST3K way. (Mongrel Media)