Because it is a movie with a strong message against war and violence, Firdaws questions the very concepts for which people still fight. It brings the promises of certain religions into view and it dissects them in full view of the audience.

From the very first seconds of this film, it is clear that some of its main focuses will be on some religious aspects, as the opening scene hits us with two blunt sentences: “This is a work of fiction. Just like religion.”. While some may think that that message could have been expressed in a more elegant way, this still works for Firdaws. It’s a good way of catching the audience’s attention with an “I’ll-stick-my-foot-in-the-door-and-make-you listen-to-me” sort of attitude.

The main characters are a soldier who has just arrived in paradise and a virgin woman who was probably something his religion promised him he would get if he got to heaven. The problem is that eternal bliss is not what it’s cracked out to be. Instead of having all the atrocities of war wiped out from his memory, it seems that all paradise can offer are a few distractions.

The dialogue between the two appears to be rather superficial at times, in contrast with the movie’s profound themes. This seems like an intentional artifice, to showcase the superficial way in which the world talks about subjects like war, violence, and eternity. Blunt words like “fuck” and “tits” seem to be coming out of the blue in the context of the movie. They are also shocking for the scene that is set. But this is another clever use of language to underline the way society uses shock-value terms and sex in an attempt to make people interested in what they’re selling.

The actor’s interpretation could do with a little more work, as some reactions seem forced, but overall the movie does a good job in delivering its message. It begins and ends with shocking statements and it takes the viewer on a roller-coaster ride, making him question everything he now takes for granted.

Review written by Pavel Cazacu

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