Radio Dreams review

Radio Dreams is playing at the 2016 New Zealand International Film Festival
Radio Dreams is playing at the 2016 New Zealand International Film Festival

Radio Dreams follows the melancholy life of an Iranian writer-turned-radio host, who is artfully trying to have Metallica play with Afghanistan's first rock band at his American-based station.

In the deadpan comedy, Hamid Royani struggles in a world of cheesy advertisements and beauty queens to bring poetry and substance to his listeners.

Royani believes it would be healing as well as historic to have pioneer Afghan rockers Kabul Dreams play with household American rock legends Metallica.

He thinks in a post-9/11 time - where terrorism lead to America invading Afghanistan - the two could play as one in a gesture of unity.

Farsi-speaking Royani tries to make this a reality, but his inability to communicate in English makes the event's meaning all the more difficult to convey to inquisitive American journalists and Metallica's publicist.

Royani's outlook at the world around him is delivered with an irony, almost as if his depression feeds and creates itself.

The layered complexity of the film gives the viewer little reason to be bored.

Sharp cutaways are reminiscent of Bill Murray's most recent works - a style not common to Iranian films, adding a humour that is delightfully abrupt and jarring.

Four stars.

This film is playing as part of the 2016 New Zealand International Film Festival.

     Radio Dreams:: Director: Babak Jalali:: Starring: Mohsen Namjoo, Sulyman Qardash, Siddique Ahmed, Raby Adib, Lars Ulrich, Mohammad Talani, Boshra Dastournezhad, Bella Warda, Keyumars Hakim :: Rating: PG - offensive language:: Running Time: 91 minutes

Reviewed by Carlie Scott/Newshub.