Rendezvous with Madness 2022: Our Review of ‘Two Dogs’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies by - November 06, 2022
Rendezvous with Madness 2022: Our Review of ‘Two Dogs’

Written and directed by Amir Azizi, Two Dogs tells the story of Iman and Sajjad, two young men broken by unemployment and depression. After the death of his dog, a man Iman that the death was a result of his own sadness and he carries that with him throughout his day. At the same time, Sajjad requires surgery but remains short of money (and confidence). Leaning on their dogs for support, the two men try to make sense of their lives—and their pain.

Set in the heart of Iran, Two Dogs is a difficult story that delves into the perceptions of mental health issues in the Middle East. While the film ends on a positive note, Dogs is generally a film that feels hopeless. Tempered by bleak hues of grey and blue, Azizi wants this to feel like a world without colour and he does so well. In this world, society leaves characters to struggle on their own, even if they have a canine companion.

Repeatedly told that owners come to look like their pets, the viewer is reminded of the complex relationship between man and beast. Azizi seems to suggest that society treats those who do battle with mental health issues as dogs. And that society largely ignores their struggles.

As the film progresses, the heaviness of one’s struggle with depression and shame becomes increasingly apparent. Iman and Sajjad fall further into their own pain. Dogs, then, highlights how difficult it can be to bear our inner most hurts with someone else. They are set adrift within a sea of hurt where people seem unable to offer life lines. In this way, Dogs points to the challenges faced by those who are simply looking for listeners. People who find nothing but shame in the process.

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Born at a very early age, Steve is a Toronto-based writer and podcaster who loves to listen to what matters to our culture on screen. When he first saw Indiana Jones steal the cross of Coronado, he knew his world would never be the same and, since then, he’s found more and more excuses to digest what’s in front of him onscreen. Also, having worked as a youth and community minister for almost 20 years, he learned that stories help everyone engage the world around them. He’s a proud hubby, father (x2) and believes that Citizen Kane, Batman Forever (yes, the Kilmer one), and The Social Network belong in the same conversation. You can hear his ramblings on ScreenFish Radio wherever podcasts are gettable or at his website, ScreenFish.net.
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