For a long time I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a comedy or a drama, since the film blends the two genres quick frequently. Sometimes the moral message of the film is a bit heavy-handed and handled without subtlety, but it's a good message nonetheless and an enjoyable movie.
This is a great film. Lifted my spirits. I really enjoyed every character, they all showed compassion for one another in small doses that made you question who or what the real antagonist is. All the officials have been given a situation where their duty conflicts with their humanity and I liked how they all reacted to it. Ultimately a movie that shows the love that exists within Iran.
Having spent enough time around my father and his friends this film has everything Iranians love: being loud and football. I don't think I've seen a more joyous and life affirming film in a long time. This is another one of those movies whose world I would love to inhabit. And Panahi makes a profound political statement without anger, but with love and dignity. A universal work and one of the essentials of the 2000s.
I probably shouldn't review a film before I finished it, (*we got an hour in and had to take a break because friends had arrived) but I can already say this was a daring and wonderful piece that has truly memorable characters, scenarios, and speaks volumes about the bravery of Panahi.