Mahnaz Afshar – The Whale 2

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The comedy ‘The Whale 2’, released in cinemas across Iran on May 10, has broken the records of the opening weekend and daily sale at a single cinema.

Directed by Saman Moqadam, the movie made $355,000 in the first three days of screening, May 10-12, edging out the record held by Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ which took in $353,000 on its opening weekend last year, Honaronline reported.

Furthermore, selling over $19,000 on its first day at Kourosh Cineplex in Tehran, the comedy beat the daily sale record in one cinema hall. The previous record of $16,500 was set by Saeed Soheili’s ‘Patrol 2’ during the Norouz (Persian New Year) holidays less than two months ago.

‘The Whale 2’ is a sequel to Moqadam’s ‘The Whale’, a comedy released in 2015 and became the year’s second best-seller with a total sale of $2 million. It chronicled the story of Arjang (Reza Attaran) who is in love with Roya (Mahnaz Afshar) for a long time but due to some problems cannot marry her until the age of 50.

Depicting the [past] four decades of Iran with references to important social and political developments in a humorous way and nostalgic Persian and English songs and melodies, the comedy saw a huge reception by the public, encouraging the director to make a sequel where he has shown some other life events of the two main characters in the same atmosphere.

Although generally considered a funny film, the sequel, similar to the first part, has moments of grief, which the audience can identify as the story is a reflection of real life events which many may have experienced. So besides making the viewers laugh non-stop till the end, there are tear-filled moments as well.

Vishka Asayesh, Reza Naji and Ali Qorbanzadeh from ‘Whale’ have reappeared in their roles in the sequel. Hesam Navab-Safavi, Sirous Gorjestani, Shahla Riahi, Katayoun Amir-Ebrahimi, Mohsen Qazi-Moradi and Asadollah Yekta are the new cast.

Many film enthusiasts believe that ‘The Whale 2’ will do better than ‘Patrol 2’, which holds the record of Iran’s all-time best-seller film, at the box-office.

‘Patrol 2’ grossed $5 million in two months; still screening across the country  with huge reception, it will soon be the first film to reach $5.3 million (200 billion rials). The question is: will ‘The Whale 2’ also break that record?

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