Farah Goes Bang
It’s all girl talk and political idealism in Farah Goes Bang, a coming-of-age road movie about Farah (Nikohl Boosheri), a recently graduated Iranian-American who seeks to quietly lose her virginity, sans embarrassment. Alongside the politically conscientious Roopa (Kiran Deol) and the short-tempered K.J. (Kandis Erickson), Farah goes on a campaigning trip for John Kerry in Ohio two weeks before the 2004 election, hoping that somewhere between states she can pop her cherry without being questioned for her inability to apply a condom.
Meera Menon’s directorial debut feature film is not without its charms. While the dialogue has an ungainly start, the tight-knit dynamic between the three characters grows to be thoroughly enjoyable and believable, as the girls crack jokes and shore up support for each other in times in need. This demonstrates Menon’s promising ability to bring out substantial emotional depth from her actors even when the script becomes a liability. A few key political scenes are also refreshingly sincere and mature for a first-time filmmaker. While many of the citizens the trio encounter are batshit-crazy right-wingers, the film highlights the more moderate and challenging view of conservatism found in certain voters, and how the Democrats’ own burning desire in finding a hero in Kerry was faulty, even if their hearts were in the right place.
Structurally, the film’s laissez-faire approach mostly works, except when it discards spontaneity for the sake of incorporating unnecessary subplots (like K.J.’s violence). With its premise, Farah Goes Bang ascertains two definitive conclusions: Farah will “go bang,” and the girls will be crushed upon Kerry’s presidential defeat. Such scenes unfold with a certain degree of grace and satisfaction that make this movie a mostly enjoyable affair. (Tina Hassannia)
Saturday, November 9th, The Royal, 4:00pm