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|Index||38 reviews in total|
*** 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.
Something must be there in the air of Iran! How can they repeatedly
make such good films? What is it about this country's
landscape/culture/socio-economic circumstances that is so unique, that
seems like it cannot be replicated anywhere else... I've watched many
Iranian films over the years and each one of them has been a cinematic
treat. Iranian filmmakers have truly raised the bar of cinema. If films
are about capturing a slice of human life, presenting it as justly as
possible and thereby helping us understand ourselves better, than I
think Iranian filmmakers have done just that...over and over again!
'Baran' is again a gem of a film - basically a love story which beautifully talks about the prevailing socio-cultural dynamics in Iran at the time. Hossein Abedini as Lateef is excellent - your typical lovable rogue who has an insatiable propensity for mischief but is basically good at heart! Mohammad Amir Naji as Memar is absolutely endearing! You cannot help but be touched by this man's kindness and his subtle paternal attitude towards Lateef. Mohammad Amir Naji was also there in 'Children of Heaven' and even in that he was so amazing! He must be major actor in Iran or at least I hope he is! And Zahra Bahrami as Baran - a very controlled beautiful performance.
The "still sad music of humanity" reverberates in Iranian cinema all the time except that it is also complimented with refreshing doses of humour and joy revolving everyday situations and actions. Watch 'Baran' for another example of good cinema from Iran! Thankfully there's plenty of it there and plenty for us to see, enjoy and may be even learn...
Majidi's 'Baran' is cinema at its purest. There is no background music. No prominent special effect. The female lead does not speak a word. It's filmed in the simplest way. It's not a colourful film and yet it is so stunning to look at because the raw Iranian landscape is beautifully captured. Majidi's films have always been subtle. He depicts the hardship of Afghan refugees in Iran very well especially the struggle between both the Iranians and the Afghans and the consequences. The story revolves around Lateef and the title character Baran. Initially Lateef loathes her but as his attraction towards Baran grows stronger, he is drawn towards her. Their love story is beautifully displayed as pure and innocent. Not a word is exchanged between Lateef and Baran and this simply shows that love need not be explained with words or even touch but with action and Lateef's sacrifice proves the depth of his love. Majidi also adds a touch of humour that adds to the genuine charm of the film. He makes some astonishingly clever use of symbolism such as the last scene when Lateef looks back at Baran's footprint (after she has departed), it represents the print she left on his heart. Hossein Abedini is fantastic as Lateef. His sublime transformation from the brattish, selfish and vindictive boy to the passionate, kind and selfless lover is phenomenal. Moreover the fact that a newcomer played the part makes it more incredible. The young and stunning Zahra Bahrami is equally amazing. The actress does not get one line to say yet her non-verbal acting is stupendous. The supporting cast, though most of them include non-professionals, look authentic. To me 'Baran' was truly a unique and enlightening experience. Films like this are a rare 'breed'. They are not easy to find.
It is not bulky classic novels but little short stories of literature
which remains in your memory long-lasting once you finished it.
Majidi's films are like simple beautiful piece of art, it's same as
reading Oscar Wilde or O Henry's classic short stories. He knows very
well where to mark underline & where to put ellipsis in a film. Set in
Iran, it tells the story of an afghani refugee working father whose leg
injury threatens his family's future. A child of his starts working on
behalf of his father at construction site. A young co-worker named
Lateef's burning hate towards child transformed by a surprising
discovery that a child is a young woman in disguise. For the first time
in his life, he's in love. He keeps the secret to his heart & helps her
with utter unconditional devotion that will change the whole dynamics
of his life.
Well it's more difficult to make a simple artistic film than making a complex piece of art & its Simplicity & portrayal of natural emotions in his films which is striking the right chords. Silence of the girl is the most felt part of the film. And what a poetic end- the last foot print impression of the girl in his life, that even rain can't wash it away.
A beautiful piece of art.
Do I have to say Must Watch? Ratings-9.5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A young man, Lateef, may be 18 years old falls in love with a fellow
construction site worker Baran. Circumstances are victimizing,
conditions are odd. There's no way Lateef can win her hand but its a
complete triumph of love.
What a brilliant film. I am not into love stories but this film is definitely a love story par excellence. Plot is so brilliant and is executed with such finesse. The passion in the heart of the protagonist is just unbelievable and is a treat to watch. Majidi is such a fantastic director. All the obstacles and difficulties Lateef faces are social and political problems. Story looks like a love story but Majidi actually talks about women problems, refugees, illegal workers, immigration problems and of course conflict of right and wrong defined in a society. There are so many things Lateef does for Baran which I ended up thinking 'not possible' but the real question is 'isnt love selfless?'. 'Baran' is a film which haunts a thinking brain. A film which doesn't answer questions but ask questions. The construction site where Lateef works is in Northern Tehran. Mehar employs Afghanis to work with Turks and Iranians (thanks Howard Schumann ). There are actually so many things going on in this film.
Hossein Abedini as Lateef is fantastic. He is Lateef and nobody else can be Lateef. Zahra Bahrami doesn't have dialogs but she is very good. Mohammad Amir Naji is a fantastic actor. If he is on the screen then you just look at him and rest is 'backdrop'. One of the few complete actors in my dictionary of actors. My favorite scene is when Lateef comes to know about the fact that Baran is a girl and so hear wears some trendy clothes and come to brick laying. Memar looks at him and say "why are you dressed like a pop star?". I laughed so much. I use this phrase very often. Two thumbs up. I think the whole Indian film industry with 200 films on love is a dwarf in front of this divine story about love and selflessness. A must watch. 10/10.
How rich can a poor fellow be?
How generous can a broke person be?
How integrity can complete the emptiness of a lonely heart?
How vivid the difference between lust and love can be?
At this age of cinema, when the light of morality is being covered with
shroud of hollywood products, BARAN (meaning rain in Farsi) conveys a
nourishing picture giving hope to the humanity.
At this age of cinema, when the lack of tangible stories forces hollywood
rescue its empire with special effects and obscene enticements, here comes
another third world country master piece of art.
Rarely do we see a natural masterpiece reminiscent of the great Italian neorealist directors. Many people will sadly miss this film simply because it doesn't have the marketing or star power of a Hollywood film. The Iranian Majid Majidi directs his film with a natural, neorealist flair without effects or a big budget. His story of forbidden love is classic; the principal characters Lateef and Baran start off awkwardly since Baran dressed as a boy Rahmat in disguise takes Lateef's job at a construction site in Iran. Lateef is an argumentative trouble-maker who becomes jealous and treats Rahmat badly until he realizes, Rahmat is a girl, Baran. He becomes embarrassed and goes about mending his ways. Baran is obviously put off and confused by Lateef's oafishness and cruelty towards her. But at the end, after when they picked up the fruits and when she stumbles into the mud he replaces her shoe, she could not take her eyes off him. The construction foreman Memar played by Mohammad Amir Naji is a brilliant actor, full of character and charisma. Zahra Bahrami who plays Baran-Rahmat never says a word but her facial expressions and pain in doing manual labor is brilliant. In a way she reminds me of the silent characters in the Korean off-beat film, 3-Iron or Bin-jip. Hossein Abedini, who plays Lateef is not a great actor although he has good moments. But aside from him, the movie was quite masterful. Most reviews discuss the touching story and today's cultural taboos in central Asia or the artful direction of Majidi. But I would like to add that the film's most beautiful moments are the directors and cinematographer's collaboration of capturing absolutely stunning moments much like you'd expect from the best of National Geogaphic's or Life's (old magazine) best photographers. The simply-hung curtains in the doorways swaying in the wind was a brlliant cliché of passing time. Lateef's hat (with Baran's hairpin) which he placed by the fish pond was stunning. The timing of both scenes in its lengthy pause, so simple, was brilliant. Near the end, the criss-crossing of the hands in picking up fruits is a symbol of the affection he feels for her. Following that was the simply brilliant slow motion of Baran flipping her aquagreen burka headdress back into place, signifying her unavailability. It seemed so cruel but culturally inevitable. The poverty of the characters and richness of the film contradict but capture the essence of humanity at its deepest. I love this film and I rate a 9.5 (not a 10 which appears here) of 10 only because Hossein Abedini could have been a stronger lead.
This is a thoughtful, beautifully made film about very poor people, a
film about the growth of spirituality within a young man who falls in
love without saying a word to the beloved; it is a magical film made
mainly on a second-rate construction site, a fascinating look into
folks to whom the cheap thrills of most American films would be
completely irrelevant. Do we need to care about this people? Can we
even identify with them?
Box office winners in America are generally about childhood superheros dressed up in expensive duds or weave dark make-believe tales about vampires or medieval revenge. They are aimed primarily at 14 year old boys, but many adults flock to them for entertainment. And they are entertaining, just as most fast food is filling, but often not very nutritious. The fact that Baran couldn't even crack 1/90th of the box office take of either of those films says something infinitely sad about audiences not willing to stretch their consciousness, experience an alternate reality, or understand some of the people our soldiers in the Middle East might be meeting on a daily basis. Baran is an open window into another culture and leaves behind something other than a ticket torn in half.
This is almost a silent film using very few words. So, I won't use many
to review the film.
Majid Majidi composed a poem in the form of 'Baran'. In its imagery, narration and cinematic expressions, Baran must be the greatest romance the world has seen on screen.
The acting is as good as you get. As it is said that the best acting is when you don't realize that it is acting. This film has the same kind of performances.
Majid proves it once again with this film that you do not need skin show to depict a great romance. The greatest romance is told here without even touching the finger of the love interest.
I hardly can remember when I saw a love movie in which I had no idea
how it would end, just before the last scenes. It is just amazing the
tension this movie embodies in every gesture. In a world that Hollywood
crap stinks all over the place, a love movie in which there is no kiss
and not even a touch, but still so much substance is a miracle. It
shows the meaning of the true art: to open horizons, to excite the mind
and to comfort the heart.
Friendship, love, sacrifice, but overall a profound metanoia are all bursting step by step as the events unfold and lead us following the hero to a state of profound accomplishment in which love transforms everything around, even a trivial rain pouring in a foot's mark.
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