I think this is my favourite Iranian film of the Festival. I have seen three – Tales, Tehran Taxi and this. Tales had some good moments but Melbourne is a nicely constructed debut feature film that keeps you considerably uncomfortable throughout.
We see a couple packing up their Tehran apartment. They are leaving for Melbourne to study for a few years. We can see that family and friends aren’t completely happy that they are going but they are determined. Their day is full of tasks to be done – utilities to be disconnected, bills to be paid, furniture to sell. In the midst of this, a neighbour’s nanny has left a newborn baby for them to mind and they tiptoe around, not wanting to wake her. They do not realise that this small act of kindness will affect all of their plans.
I’m deliberately not telling you much of the plot as I think it helps to go into this film without knowing where it’s going. I felt deeply uncomfortable watching this film, it has a certain claustrophobia and you feel the frustration of the main characters. I loved the ending. It seemed right. The director spoke after the film and said they had three endings but test audiences liked this one the best, even though it was the saddest. I’m not sure that I thought it was sad so much, moving perhaps.