January 21, 2015

Appropriate Behavior (2014)

Appropriate Behavior (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Desiree Akhavan
Country: UK

Movie Review: Charming, funny and extremely entertaining, “Appropriate Behavior” marks a delightful directorial debut on feature film for Desiree Akhavan, an upstate New Yorker from Iranian descent who had directed the lesbian-themed short TV series “The Slope” in 2010. Akhavan also stars here, keenly giving life to Shirin, a Brooklyn-based bisexual Persian-American video artist who is trying to adopt the correct postures in life to avoid embarrassing her Iranian parents and traditions, at the same time that nourishes her joy of life and seeks the proper confidence to accept herself as she is. These goals, complicated by themselves, get even more compromised when Shirin breaks up with her girlfriend, Maxine (Rebecca Henderson). Feeling dead inside, she finds some solace in talking with her friend, Crystal (Halley Feiffer), while the new job as teacher of young kids seems not to suit her at all. The character of Shirin is very well observed and portrayed, especially by genuinely trying to pass a false assurance in her actions when in fact she’s just trying to gain confidence to move on. Open to new experiences, Shirin will embark in a few weird encounters while the story occasionally winds back to let us know what led to the rupture with Maxine at her birthday party. Smartly, Akhavan embraces a concise humor by making use of efficient jokes in a straightforward manner, but actually the story puts a nervous tension in almost every scene where intense feelings and an associated discomfort can touch sadness. It was indeed an appropriate approach. I’m eager to see in what direction Akhavan will move next; will she keep this creativity within the sexuality theme? For now, it’s proved she swims comfortably in this pool.

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