Still, the filmmakers get too clever for their own good, ignoring a basic tenet of storytelling: If you don't care about your characters, no one else will. Nasser-Ali isn't just unpleasant, he's a bore with his constant whining and unceasing self-absorption. The nonlinear narrative doesn't give us many reasons to understand, sympathize or even tolerate him until moments before the credits roll, and even then, viewers may still have the overwhelming desire to smack the character and tell him to get over himself.
Worse, the auteurs take one of the most likable characters — Nasser-Ali's sweet-natured, perpetually happy but neglected son — and condemn him to a horrible fate in a mean-spirited flash-forward that casts him as a clueless father in a garish parody of American life.
With its beautiful blend of cinematic homages, film fans should sample “Chicken with Plums” but be prepared for the bitter aftertaste of watching a good film that should really be a great one.
— Brandy McDonnell
MORE FROM NEWSOK
‘Chicken with Plums'
Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Maria de Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani, Isabella Rossellini. (Some drug content, violent images, sensuality and smoking)