TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Shayda’

Posted in TIFF 2023 by - September 15, 2023
TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Shayda’

The story of a mother and their child having to escape a bad situation is one that has been done numerous times. Those movies vary in effectiveness. However, Noora Niasari, who both writes and directs Shayda, manages to reshape the mould of this tragic story. She delivers a film that is so focused on its two leads and the overall struggle that wearing ones heart on their sleeve will not be denied. Again, this is a powerful and tragic story. Within it, Zar Amir Ebrahimi delivers another standout performance that helps elevate Shayda to new heights.

The movie focuses on the titular Shayda (Zar Amir Ebrahimi) as she has fled to a women’s shelter with her daughter Mona (Selina Zahednia). They’re escaping her abusive husband Hossein (Osamah Sami). What transpires throughout the movie is a look at how broken the system is and how terrifying and hard escaping a situation like that can be. There are also the lengths parents will go to protect their children in an intense emotional thriller.

Shayda excels and prospers on several fronts but it is the performance from Zar Amir Ebrahimi that carries the movie. Through her, we feel the horrors and tribulations that the script lays out. Moreover, it is not only Zar’s performance that is the beacon of light in this dark film. Noora Niasari’s script also refuses to hold back the punches. She forces these evils and unfortunate reality to be at the centre and forefront of the remarkable Shayda.

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My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep. Feel free to interact me at @Dubsreviews
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