Plot: A boy working at a tailor’s shop is being pressured by two competing friends to lend them a wedding suit on the night before it’s due to be delivered to the customer. One wants to use it for a date, the other won’t say why he needs it, and suspense builds when the suit may not get back to the shop in time.
Through almost purely visual means, Kiarostami creates an O. Henry–like story of a wedding suit “borrowed” from the tailor’s for a night, and uses it to explore the world of working youths in the shops and streets of Tehran. To outward appearances, the boys in question have only to wait on adults, delivering tea from the cafe or being a tailor’s assistant. But with adults out of earshot, an active subculture thrives, a hive of youthful desire for that which is perceived as unattainable, whether it is a girl, as in The Experience, or, in this film, a bespoke suit made for a middle-class mama’s boy but coveted by the fast-talking street kids who give the film its life, its pathos, and its subtle class message. —Judy Bloch