My Favourite Cake review – charming portrayal of a 70-year-old Iranian’s appetite for romance

My Favourite Cake review – charming portrayal of a 70-year-old Iranian’s appetite for romance


Unfortunately, this charming and humorous movie, along with everything else, will add to the discussion on whether oppressive governments foster artistic brilliance. The Iranian authorities have barred the film’s co-directors, Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha, from attending their own premiere in Berlin. Just six months ago, their production offices were raided and their computers and hard drives were seized. However, to the police’s dismay, the film itself was not found. Its tender portrayal of humanity serves as a powerful condemnation of this senseless and unrefined repression.

I believe that the authorities were informed of a specific event where the morality police were patrolling a Tehran park in their van, using their authority to intimidate young women who were supposedly not wearing their hijabs modestly enough. The 70-year-old protagonist, who fondly recalls a time when hijabs were not mandatory, confronts the uniformed bullies and saves a woman from their grasp.

This is Mahin, portrayed beautifully by Lili Farhadpour, whose story reflects on love, loss, loneliness, and aging. It also delves into the sacrifices made for a lasting marriage. Mahin is a widow whose daughter and grandchildren live abroad. She leads a quiet life in her apartment, captured through carefully crafted scenes. She communicates with her daughter through FaceTime, but their conversations never seem to fully connect. Mahin struggles to fall asleep and often wakes up late. She tends to her garden, goes shopping, and occasionally hosts lunches for her female friends. The main topic of discussion during these gatherings is everyone’s health issues, often discussed in a humorous and candid manner.

The conversation shifts to whether it is feasible for them to find love again in their later years. Why not? So, Mahin secretly adjusts her aimless daily routine in hopes of meeting a potential partner. She frequents places like the bakery queue, the park, a fancy hotel coffee shop, and eventually a humble restaurant where senior citizens can redeem their food vouchers. Eventually, she ends up connecting with Faramarz (Esmaeel Mehrabi), a modest and charming single man her age. He is a cab driver and military veteran, who shares Mahin’s independent mindset – he faced trouble from strict authorities for playing music in a wedding band.

Faramarz and Mahin share a special moment at her apartment, during which she offers to make him her favorite cake. This emotional connection is the culmination of their thoughts and feelings since becoming single. It feels as though they are pouring out their entire inner selves to each other. There is a subtle yet magnificent quality to this moment. Unfortunately, these moments in life are often fleeting, and some never experience them at all. Overall, it is a beautiful film.