Director: Panah Panahi 93 mins 12A Iran Comedy drama
Panah Panahi, son and collaborator of embattled Iranian master Jafar Panahi, makes a striking feature debut with this charming, sharp-witted, and deeply moving comic drama. Hit the Road takes the tradition of the Iranian road-trip movie and adds unexpected twists and turns. It follows a family of four — two middle-aged parents and their sons, one a taciturn adult, the other an ebullient six-year-old — as they drive across the Iranian countryside. Over the course of the trip, they bond over memories of the past, grapple with fears of the unknown, and fuss over their sick dog. The film builds emotional momentum as it slowly reveals the furtive purpose for their journey. The result is a humanist drama.
It’s that blend of heartbreak and joy, profundity and absurdity that is the key to this enchanting movie’s magical spell. – Mark Kermode