A seemingly empty film, that functions almost solely on suggestions. This abstract way of storytelling, combined with the abrupt beginning and ending, lends the viewer the impression of being an outside observer who is unable to properly judge the characters or their actions. But that is the beauty of this and many Kiarostami films. We have no choice but to respect them as human and allow them to keep their secrets.
There are two brilliant sequences right off the bat. The beguiling first shot, which builds into a deceptively simple two-shot introduction to the rest of the film. And then a masterful sequence in the back of the cab which recalls to mind Chantal Ackerman's "News from Home" aided with a bit more narrative oomph. The rest of the film can't quite hold up to the promises of these sequences. Still very worthwhile.
This is one of the only instances I can remember where I found a film's plot to be sexist and patronizing but the execution of that plot left me with no choice but to fall head over heels in love with the movie. One mustn't disregard the forest for the trees, but this is one beautiful fucking tree.