The Persian Version Review: A Decent Exploration of Culture Clash

The Persion Version (2023).

The Persian Version, directed and written by Maryam Keshavarz, presents a compelling narrative centered around the intricacies of cultural identity, family dynamics, and personal growth. Starring Layla Mohammadi as Leila, Niousha Noor as Shireen, and Bijan Daneshmand as Ali Reza Jamshidpour, the film delves into the challenges faced by a young Iranian-American woman navigating the delicate balance between her heritage and the evolving dynamics within her family. While the film manages to capture the essence of these themes with humor and sincerity, it is not without its shortcomings.

The Good:

The Persian Version (2023)

One of the film’s strongest assets is its commitment to portraying the Iranian-American experience authentically. From the language spoken at home to the celebrations and rituals depicted, The Persian Version successfully immerses the audience in the rich cultural tapestry of the protagonist’s world. The film serves as a refreshing departure from stereotypes, offering a nuanced portrayal of the Iranian diaspora.

The cast delivers commendable performances, with Layla Mohammadi’s portrayal of Leila standing out. Mohammadi skillfully conveys the internal conflict of a young woman torn between the expectations of her family and her desire for independence. Niousha Noor’s Shireen provides a strong supporting presence, offering a contrasting perspective on familial relationships. The chemistry between Mohammadi and Noor adds depth to the film, enhancing its emotional resonance.

Keshavarz masterfully employs humor as a narrative device to tackle complex issues within the family. The witty dialogue and situational comedy not only entertain but also serve as a means to explore cultural clashes and generational differences. The film strikes a delicate balance, using humor to illuminate the characters’ struggles without trivializing the challenges they face.

The cinematography of The Persian Version effectively captures the vibrant colors and cultural aesthetics, enhancing the storytelling experience. The film’s setting, both in Iran and the United States, provides a visual journey that mirrors Leila’s internal and external exploration. The juxtaposition of traditional Iranian landscapes with the modern American backdrop contributes to the film’s narrative complexity.

The Bad:

The Persian Version (2023).

While the film successfully explores cultural and familial themes, there are moments where the pacing feels uneven. Certain scenes linger longer than necessary, disrupting the overall flow of the narrative. The film’s rhythm, at times, hinders the audience’s engagement, particularly during crucial emotional moments that could have benefited from a more concise approach.

Although the main characters are well-crafted and portrayed convincingly, the supporting characters lack sufficient development. Leila’s interactions with her family members, aside from her mother and sister, often feel superficial. The film misses opportunities to delve deeper into the perspectives of other family members, leaving some relationships underexplored and less impactful.

The Persian Version adheres to certain predictable story arcs commonly found in coming-of-age narratives. The film follows a familiar trajectory of conflict, resolution, and self-discovery, occasionally relying on well-trodden paths rather than offering innovative approaches to storytelling. While the film succeeds in its authentic portrayal of cultural nuances, the overarching narrative structure may feel formulaic to viewers familiar with similar themes.


The Persian Version is a commendable exploration of cultural identity and family dynamics, offering a fresh perspective on the Iranian-American experience. Its commitment to authenticity, coupled with strong performances and effective use of humor, contributes to a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. However, pacing issues and a somewhat predictable narrative structure prevent it from reaching its full potential. Maryam Keshavarz’s film, despite its flaws, remains a valuable addition to the cinematic landscape, providing a platform for diverse voices and stories within the realm of comedy-drama.

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The Persian Version Review: A Decent Exploration of Culture Clash
  • Acting - 7/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 5.5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 6/10
  • Watchability - 6/10
  • Rewatchability - 5/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.