But once the child comes up with this intense laugh, we are not quite familiar with the irresistible witty ways of the rascal yet, a disposition that often injects the image with moments of comic relief that run parallel to the film’s melancholy. And Panahi is so precise behind the camera that his inspired compositions of the family inside the car – somehow, both spacious and claustrophobic – as well as the languorous rays of the sun dreaming dreamily into the confinement, do not necessarily challenge the little one. one’s supernatural remark, much on purpose. That said, you may be forgiven for thinking you’re in the presence of a mysterious, spiritual, or even supernatural “Little Miss Sunshine” for a second there, one set on the road to Pearly Gates.
But Panahi is also quick to elegantly steer you back to reality. No, no one has died among the family of four – also including Hassan Madjooni’s wisely dead father with a broken, painfully itchy leg in plaster and the pensive, twenty big brother, played by Amin Simiar. They just have something of a disorienting haste – as we find out in doses, the quartet is on its way to the Turkish border to smuggle the older son out of the country for reasons that Panahi smartly leaves most inexplicable, an insightful decision, that drives the enticing aura of secrecy in “Hit the Road.”
In strictly speculative terms, the filmmaker’s choice to leave things unsaid may have something to do with the Panahi name. Yes, Panah is the son of legendary Iranian author Jafar Panahi, who is still barred from making films and leaving Iran due to the regime’s furious verdict in 2010 that found J. Panahi guilty of spreading anti-government propaganda. (Fortunately, that did not stop him from doing so unofficial films without licenses, such as the masterpieces “This Is Not A Film” and “Taxi”.) In this connection, it may well be in an unconscious protective spirit that his son Panah leaves the political facets of history unclear, knowing which buttons he can and can not. push what he can and cannot spell out. But that doesn’t mean “Hit The Road” is a cozy version of something that could have been superior if it were more obvious. Far from. By hiding some of the fine, Panahi makes an even more violent political point through “Hit The Road.” Here, the details do not matter so much as their heartbreaking consequences: the irreversibly burdened families unjustly torn away from their loved ones, and a society that bears these scars.