9 Aug 2021
Shiva Hosseini, Hesam Rahmani
Farshad Ershadi, Bozorgmehr Jomehri, Pooyan Mokri, Masoud Ramezani
The intriguingly titled Rabbit T whisks the viewer into a 24-minute cruise through the mind of producer-director Hesam Rahmani, where things may not always be as they seem but, at other times, very much are!
Pizza delivery man and stage magician Sasan’s night isn’t looking too great when he delivers a wrong order to a hungry customer. Later on, he falls foul of irate boss Mr Ganj who suspects there is a thief on the premises. On top of that, Sasan needs an extra pair of hands for his evening act which he looks set to miss when Mr Ganj refuses to allow him to leave. Fate soon intervenes, however, when Sasan and his co-workers later find Mr Ganj inexplicably unconscious at his desk…
“A fantastical world, wacky characters and a humorous story are the reasons are I made Rabbit-T”, explains the multi-talented Iranian filmmaker who co-wrote the film together with Shiva Hosseini. “My main challenge, however, was shooting the film, as I tried my best to reflect the world inside my head through the lens of the camera”. If there’s one word that jumps out of this magician's box, it’s certainly 'unpredictable'.
Just like a good magician, Rahmani keeps his tricks in the realm of the unexpected. The narrative pans out in a way one would not have guessed from the film’s beginning and, indeed, the difference between Rahmani’s quotidian opening (pizza being delivered to a suburban home) and macabre ending (a chef preparing to slice up a living rabbit) is a world apart. A somewhat sinister 2-minute advertisement for Rabbit Pizza (presumably Sasan’s company) jarringly leaps into the half-way segment of the piece. Rahmani has his camera either behind the characters in the film or facing them square-on; we’re always looking at character and action in landscape, the surreal dream world of Rahmani brought quirkily to life it would appear.
The “wacky characters” Rahmani promises never quite surface though. In fact, whilst the performances are fine throughout, they’re all rather indistinguishable; the only larger-than-life personality is the ominous Mr Ganj and even he ends up comatose for a lot of the film! Rahmani’s emphasis ends up being less on character though and more on a world where the line between fantasy and reality is indeed blurred; where magic can and does happen both on Sasan’s stage and away from it. The end result itself may not be exactly magical, but we certainly don’t see a lot of the tricks coming.