Hit The Road - Review (London Film Festival 2021)
This Too Shall Pass. 3.5 / 5
Directed by Panah Panahi.
A chaotic, tender family is on a road trip across a rugged landscape, but to where? In the back seat, Dad has a broken leg, but is it really broken? Mom tries to laugh when she’s not holding back tears. The kid keeps exploding into choreographed car karaoke. All of them are fussing over the sick dog and getting on each others’ nerves.
Absorbing you in the wearisome task of a long road trip, Hit The Road follows a family of distinctly different characters travelling together into the unknown. With an obvious impending threat on the horizon, it was refreshing to see this told with such light hearted energy, with most coming from the charming and animated Rayan Sarlak.
Panah Panahi uses the enclosed environment of the car to his advantage, helping to build the intimate family relationship. This only heightens the impacts when the characters step out of the car into the incredible backdrop of northwest Iran with vast deserts and landscapes.
Though the pacing slows in the second act for more extensive character moments, Sarlak's radiant performance keeps the energy high injecting childlike joy into every moment no matter what the rest of the family is going through.
A heartfelt and sincere journey that uses cinematography and music in incredibly inventive ways to express the inner thoughts and emotions of all on-screen.