Hamoun (Khosro Shakibai) is a blocked philosophical writer and executive in a large import-export firm. He finds himself caught up in a severe mid-life crisis when his wife Mahshid (Bita Farahil) announces she wants a divorce. Under Iranian law, she needs his consent to leave him. Through various flashbacks we see their early happiness as a couple. When things go awry in their relationship, Mahshid goes to a psychiatrist and complains that Hamoun doesn't understand her, that he is violent, and that he does not properly look after their young son. In several Fellini-like dream sequences, we see the depth of the philosopher's unhappiness. One source of his discontent is his wife's stunning success as an abstract painter.
"The disappointments of midlife," according to Dr. David Brandt, a psychologist, "all revolve around one central theme 'Now that I know what it's really about, I'm disappointed that that's all there is.' The other disappointments of this period in love, work, family, level of accomplishment, and the loss of beauty and youth are merely variations of this theme. Midlife disenchantment is essentially a crisis of disillusionment. We have lived over 50 percent of our allotted time only to find that the illusions we have treasured since childhood have all been maimed or destroyed by uncompromising reality."
That in a nutshell describes what writer and director Darish Mahrjui (Leila) is trying to portray in this frantic drama of Hamoun's dark night of the soul. Everything that he has held to be true is now under fire in a changing Iran, and he can't cope with it. Although this philosopher is familiar with Kierkegaard, Zen philosophy, the Old Testament, mysticism, and the Muslim faith; none of them provide much comfort or meaning in his state of unrest.