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Marmoulak Marmoulak | Last Update : 2024-04-24

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Marmoulak : مارمولک (فیلم) : "The Lizard" is an Iranian comedy-drama film directed by Kamal Tabrizi, produced by Manouchehr Mohammadi, written by Peyman Ghasemkhani, and starring Parviz Parastui. Released in 2003, the story is inspired by "We're No Angels" (1989) and "The Pilgrim" (1923), both involving themes of mistaken identity and transformation, the latter being written and directed by Charlie Chaplin. The film offers a unique perspective on clergy and society by localizing the narrative to fit the Iranian context.

Filming locations included Ahhar, a mosque, and the Haj Ghanbar Ali Khan school in Tehran. "The Lizard" was awarded the Crystal Simorgh for Best Screenplay and Best Film from the Audience's Perspective at the 22nd Fajr Film Festival. After being pulled from cinemas for a decade, DVDs of "The Lizard" were released in limited quantities in 2015 and officially in the home video market in April 2020. Influential clerics, including Ahmad Jannati, Hassan Rouhani, Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, and Jafar Sobhani, called for the film's screening to be stopped.

The plot centers around Reza Mesghali, known as Reza the Lizard, a repeat offender last arrested for armed robbery. Sent to a prison run by the strict and inflexible Mr. Mojaver, Reza escapes from a hospital by stealing a cleric's robes. Mistaken for a cleric expected to lead prayers in a border town, he takes on the role and inadvertently gains followers through his unconventional methods. His actions are mistakenly interpreted as charitable, earning him a positive reputation. As Reza becomes influenced by his new identity, the narrative explores themes of redemption and the complex interplay between identity and morality. The film ends with Mr. Mojaver, the prison warden, finding Reza but showing reluctance to arrest him, reflecting a change in both characters.

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