Directed and written by Panah Panahi (his first film) and starring Pantea Panahiha (Darkhoongah; I Am Diego Maradona; Rhino (TV Series)), Hasan Majuni (The Pig; The Badger; We Are All Together), Amin Simiar (in his first role) and Rayan Sarlak (in his first role).
Drama; 93 mins; 6+
A "road movie" set (and filmed) in current-day Iran and featuring a family of four travelling in their car out of the city and through the hills and mountains.
The star of the film is undoubtedly Rayan Sarlak who plays the little brother, a livewire, a bundle of energy who never stops talking and sometimes singing too, and who has an infectious personality. His older brother (Amin Simiar) does most of the driving, but says very little indeed. Their mother (Pantea Panahiha) appears on the one hand to be all calm and collect, but is she keeping something from the children? And the boy's father (Hasan Majuni) is travelling with his leg in a cast so he is fairly immobile.
Most of the action (dialogue, really) takes place within the confines of the car; but what are they doing in the car? Where are they going? This is kept from the audience and is not revealed until near the end. Up to then, the audience is treated to an excellent dialogue / script, and stunning scenery along the way featuring very rugged landscape, with great cinematography, sometimes when they stop for a break.
They are worried about their sick dog, but what does this represent? There are more questions than answers, particularly for the first three quarters of the film. Emotions in the car run high at times, with alternating moods, sometime foreboding..., and aided by a wonderful soundtrack that matches that matches the varied moods, particularly inside the car. Excellent performances by all, including the cyclist, particularly Rayan Sarlak as the younger brother.
Hit the Road was awarded (jointly) the Critic's Prize at this year's Luxembourg City Film Festival.
Currently being screened in Luxembourg by CiNextDoor.