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One of the most beautifully done and wonderfully acted movies I have seen in a very long time, years even. A movie of the such moving unselfish love. It goes to show you that you do not to have sex or even touching or kissing to feel or show the love that these two people have for each other. Due to cultural differences they can not even touch each other. The scene in which he helps her pick up the fruit that has fallen on the ground is so touching. How their hands criss cross each other without touching. See how just the closeness of their arms and hands to each other evoke such passionate feelings and the way they dig deep into each others eyes is wonderful. What an incredible movie.
If I could give 100 points for this movie, I would, but I will just
have to give it a perfect 10.
As they say, "Actions speak louder than words" and this is how I would describe this movie.
Seeing this movie makes one take account of his/her life. There is so much that us take for granted in our daily lives that by seeing this movie we can start appreciate what we have.
Latif gave everything in the name of kindness and love for his neighbor. He even risked his life in order to show his inner kindness towards others. Meeting Baran taught him a lot about how to show love and gentleness for others.
One of the aspects of this film not touched by other reviews here is
the quality of the directing. it is incredible how as you watch the
film your natural inclination to see the situation solved is completely
drowned out by the motion of the film. Its unusual to find such a
philosophical film that keeps both your eyes and heart wide awake.
The truly altruistic nature of love, the crazy things it makes you do and not regret are born out in this film in beautiful ways. From an Iranian perspective it is an interesting look at cross-cultural phenomena but I think the average American doesn't know enough about Afghani, Kurdish and Iranian culture to appreciate that.
You see this coming from the start but I'll warn you that the next thing I say might spoil part of the film for you:
My favorite scene is at the end when she drops her burka as she realizes he loves her, realizing how dangerous her beauty is, how it has left this poor boy in emotional and financial chaos and how she cannot do anything to help.
There are directors who give one or two classics and are considered
immortal and than there's Majid who gives classic back to back. Well I
don't have word for him.
Baran is one such film from the director who has given us Children of Heaven. The simplicity of the film and the simplicity of cinematography are exemplary. Way the beauty of Iraq is captured is amazing. Each scene is aesthetic yet poignant. With minimal dialogues and no dialogues for the girl playing the title role it is quite an experimental film. If any one has noticed the film there are only on three instances that background score comes into play and during this time you will notice that we are watching a movie and not a documentary. They cast which was mostly non-professional actors looks authentic and spontaneous. The technical aspects are simple like an achievement. And last scene when rain (Baran) starts pouring down to fill the mark created by Baran's shoes is overwhelming.
To write about the director will be like undermining his work. In one word he is brilliant.
If you have not seen it you are completely missing one genre of films.
When I first turned the movie on, I really did not think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. What I initially perceived to be a movie about a group of men working at a building site, was indeed a powerful story of unselfish love. The actors seemed raw and unpolished which gave it the feeling of reality in such a harsh corner of the world. The cinematography was incredible. A building site is an usual location for a love story. The actors and director did such a wonderful job, that I did not focus that much on their dismal surroundings. With the way love and sex is treated in many movies, it was wonderful to see how one could feel the love and devotion of one person of another without as much as a touch or kiss. I was also so touched by the lengths that the young man went through to help the girl he loved and her family. It did not even matter to him that she was unaware that he had given up everything he had for them. One of the best movies I have seen in a long time.
In Iran, when the illegal Afghan worker Najaf (Gholam Ali Bakhshi)
breaks his foot in an accident in a construction of a building, his
fragile son Rahmat becomes his replacement. The master Memar (Mohammad
Amir Naji) makes Rahmat responsible for feeding the worker, and brings
the young Lattef (Hossein Abedini), who was responsible for this task,
to the heavy work. Latted becomes jealous of Rahmat, and spends a cruel
treatment to him. However, when Lateef finds that Rahmar is indeed a
girl called Baran (Zahra Bahrami), he falls in love for her and spends
all his savings and gives his best efforts to protect her family and
"Baran" is a simple, human, beautiful, touching, irresistible wonderful love story. Exposing the situation of the explored Afghans refugees in Iran, after the Soviet invasion, their civil war and the Taliban regime, this movie also gives a lesson of humanity, sympathy and generosity. The actors and actresses have very realistic performances, showing an excellent direction and the character Baran does not speak any word along the story, using only her facial expression to disclose her inner feelings. And the sacrifice of Lateef to please the family of "Baran" shows the essence of a pure and platonic love. The arid and cold landscape completes the scenario of this gem. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Baran"
This film is incredible, a visual masterpiece. Majid Majidi has the
ability to make every frame and every shot beautiful and enigmatic. The
story is in some scenes humorous, in others moving.
This film has lessons to teach in humanity and generosity.
It is also a window for viewers in Western countries (such as myself) whose lives are so far removed from those of the characters and real people like them. Very few films have to ability to transport you to another place so completely, as this film does.
Baran is the story of an Iranian construction worker, Latif, who is not
really doing his job - he serves tea and food to the rest of the workers,
managing to avoid the really hard work. He is at first a hot-tempered,
selfish youth - but then, 'Rahman', an illegal Afghanistan imigrant, comes
to work. He is a young, weak worker, and is at once put in Latif's job - and
Rahman does a better job, too. Jealous and angry, Latif tries to make life
miserable for his new adversary... until he accidentally discovers that
'Rahman' is not a boy - 'Rahman' is 'Baran', a woman.
Latif, who even though used to be a careless youth, always had a soft, romantic spot in his heart - and when he realizes Baran is a woman, he falls in love with her. He seeks to protect and help her, and his entire life is slowly and surely changed for the better because of her.
Many people have critisized this film, saying it's poorly acted, the script is badly written, etc. Please remember: this is not a Hollywood movie! This movie is not in the least bit American, therefore the viewer needs to be open minded to the different culture of Iranian cinema. Baran never says a single word in the entire film. 'BARAN' is a beautiful romantic drama filled with angst and stunning visual scapes. I give it 8 out of 10 stars.
`Don't you go letting life harden your heart . . . we can let the
circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly
resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. We
always have the choice.' ...The Dalai Lama
Baran is the latest film from the director of Children of Heaven and Color of Paradise. It has strong appeal because of the natural performances of its non-professional actors, its well-drawn characters, and its message of the transforming power of generosity. Like Kandahar, our attention is drawn to the desperate plight of the Afghan people.
Baran begins with a note about the reality of the 1.4 million refugees from Afghanistan living in Iran, a number that has probably increased substantially since September 11th. Some are of the current generation that was born in Iran and have never set foot in Afghanistan; others have recently fled from Taliban oppression and long to return home. Afghans are forbidden to hold jobs by Iranian law and must work illegally, usually in unskilled heavy labor jobs.
Shot in the style of the Italian Neo-Realists (realistic stories told against real backgrounds with sometimes non-professional casts), Baran has a tone of drabness, only occasionally interrupted with bursts of color. At a construction site in Northern Tehran, Memar (Mohammad Amir Naji) employs a large number of Afghans to work along side of Turks and Iranians. This film shows a microcosm of the blue-collar working class in today's Tehran. Many languages are spoken and the film sheds some light on the variety of ethnic groups present in Iran. In spite of some harsh treatment of workers Memar has moments of generosity and humor, and his outwardly harsh exterior seems to mask a genuine sympathy for the workers.
A 17 year old Iranian tea boy, Latif (Hossein Abedini), an Iranian Azeri, feels his job is threatened by a new worker Rahmat (Zahra Bahrami) who comes to work when his father is injured on the job. Rahmat has difficulty performing construction tasks and is moved to the kitchen to prepare and serve the tea, essentially switching jobs with Latif. Latif, short tempered to begin with, now takes out after Rahmat, intent on getting revenge, leading to a series of slapstick encounters that are almost Chaplinesque in tone.
After Latif discovers Rahmat's secret (he is a she named "Baran"), the film is devoted to his transformation from a selfish wise guy to a caring and surprisingly generous young man. The film becomes a series of encounters in which Latif, infatuated with Rahmat, secretly tries to help her in any way possible, donating his entire savings to her family and involving himself in protecting her from the hands of inspectors looking for illegal immigrants.
Though I found Baran to be, at times, somewhat repetitious and dramatically weak (it doesn't help that Latif and Rahmat never interact), it is a humanistic film, full of warmth and humor. Though a film about dehumanizing working conditions, its true focus is the emotional awakening of a young man who has discovered his own self worth through the act of kindness to another, perhaps symbolizing the discovery of the plight of Afghans by the Western world. Baran (also translated as "Rain", the symbol for springtime) builds to a poignant climax, leaving Latif with the wistful image of a footstep in rain-splattered mud, an image that may remain with him as a constant inspiration for future self-sacrifice.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Another thought-provoking, unique, deep, understandable, warm, loving
and touching tale comes from Iran, by the hand of Majid Majidi, the one
who brought "The Children of Heaven" to our eyes. As impeccable and
human as that one, comes "Baran". What an amazing film. You don't see
these type of characters every day. They barely speak in most of the
occasions, but they show emotions.
The whole piece beautifully and well done, that it really touches deep. These situations and these people make the film so watchable. Lateef is a normal person, he spends his everyday life as anyone else, working, earning the money for his life (although he hasn't received that money yet, but he will). Soltan works there, also, although he shouldn't, as many other workers. Soltan brings a boy one day, and after some events, this boy steals (it's a way to put it) Lateef's job. He's angry, we get it. But he sees, some time after, a girl behind a curtain (in a beautiful scene, with a patient camera watching carefully both angles). A girl he used to know as a boy, and he is shocked. He has fallen in love.
After this, nothing matters, only this girl (Baran, we hear from her father; and if you don't listen carefully, you'll miss it, because it's the only time the word is said). Then we join Lateef in his journey, for love. He's desperate. He sees Baran suffering, and ends lying to his boss, to get some money for her. To help her.
One of the most incredible things in the story, is the development of this boy's personality. He wants to help, but at the same time, doesn't want the people he's helping to know it. He wastes his time in the invention of stupid excuses, just to hide himself. Hiding himself from who? From this girl, the reason of his changes and efforts? Why? He wants to be with her.
The last scenes come as magical and "one of a kind" as the ones in "The Children of Heaven". Lateef sits and contemplates a curtain, similar to the image seen the fist time he discovers Baran. Now he is making decisions, but only in his mind, because it is late already. The next morning, Baran is leaving, I guess it's not important where. He helps her to pick some things she has dropped. She sees him, and completely knows the things he has been doing for her. Then she just smiles, and gets in the truck. She leaves, he watches.
Maybe he'll regret it.
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