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|Index||38 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
BARAN centers around 17-year-old Latif (Hossein Abedini), the cook and gofer at a Teheran construction site. He's initially angered when he is replaced by Rahman (Zahra Bahrami), the son of an injured Afghani co-worker, until he discovers that his colleague's son is actually his daughter in disguise. Most of the workers at the site are illegal immigrants from Afghanistan (Afghan refugees are legally blocked from entering the Iranian job market), and are in continual jeopardy of losing their jobs in the event of a sudden illness or a sudden visit from government building inspectors. Latif has discovered Rahman's true identity by the time the inevitable moment of crisis arrives, and surrenders to an unrequited crush on Baran, propelling him towards a selflessness which at first seems surprising, as Latif is seen as hot tempered and a bit selfish at the beginning of BARAN.
Latif's eye-opening introduction to the desperate conditions in which she lives definitely makes this transformation more plausible. The ever-present subtext - the state of life in Taliban-era Afghanistan, the exodus of the Afghan work force from the country, and the plight of Afghan refugees abroad gives the romantic side of the story urgency, and perhaps makes the rather unreal Latif seem considerably more realistic, or even politically daring. The camera work throughout BARAN is also exceptional - the construction site is captured in great detail through the graceful and uncluttered cinematography (by Mohammad Davudi), the harshness of Teheran's environment (this film features some of the most effective use of rain, snow and fog this side of a Kurosawa epic) is casually ever-present, and serves to underscore the intensity of the story, and the scenes set in the Afghan refugee settlement are uncomplicated in their minimal beauty, and are consistently devastating in their emotional power. In any case, BARAN is an excellent hour-and-a-half that qualifies as one of the finest of the recent wave of Iranian dramas.
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.
The film is a typical Iranian film. It is like others, relying
completely on the human emotions. The story is about the life of
construction workers at a site. It focuses on the Afgan people living
in a stressful environment all the time. Main concentration is upon two
individuals. Things went with such a nice pace that hardly anyone can
criticize about the character analysis or any other aspect. The film is
very good in its genre of simplicity.
Developing emotions can never be seen more properly than in an Iranian film. The best part is that you forget to focus on the acting of the characters and just want to know how the film would end.
I liked everything in the film but towards the end everything seemed to be too much. I just cannot grasp that properly.
Message: "Love is beautiful."
Verdict: "A recommended watch."
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.
Whole day I've been thinking about this movie after I watched. I was fully satisfied and for me simply one of the best. Congratulations to Majid Majidi. It is clearly proves that no need to spend millions of dollars and working with Hollywood movie stars to impress people. After I watched this movie I feel not to watch American movies anymore because I realized how the movie should be.The meaning of "Baran" is rain it makes very good sense by finishing the movie with raining scene. By the way the leading actor Lateef is not Kurdish as written in plot. I believe he is Azeri because he speaks Azeri in some part of the movie.
I use movies as an adjunct to my English class in Ladakh, a remote part
of India. I like to show movies from different countries, and movies by
this director always satisfy. It does mean that my students are reading
subtitles rather than listening to English, but reading in chunks is a
real-life reading skill, so I like to mix subtitled non-English movies
in with English ones.
Being Iranian, this movie is, of course, squeaky clean for showing to students in a conservative society.
The character of Lateef is fun to do a character word-web about and my students came up with some great descriptive words, since his character is not all positive, and changes over time. Pre-teach that it's from Iran, and the language is Farsi (not Arabic). Because of many years of war, lots of Afghans are refugees in other countries, and in Iran they have trouble because without ID cards they aren't allowed to work, shop in shops, or stay in hotels. Make sure to catch the names of Najaf (the guy who has the accident at the beginning), his friend Sultan, the central character Lateef, and the boss Memar, because a lot of important plot points happen in discussions mentioning a character.
"Baran" is like a prequel to the opening of "Kandahar," showing why the
Afghan refugees return home, as it's sure not clear where is the frying
pan and where is the fire.
It gives a heartbreakingly beautiful contemporary view of a story as old as time, as some song from some Disney or other movie would put it. I'm sure there's several Celtic legend songs with a similar story line of the young man who gets in way over his head in a relationship from afar within highly circumscribed familial and authority strictures.
Original here is that his heart's desire is one smart cookie who is coping as best as can be within an intolerable social situation, and his efforts have "Gift of the Magi" consequences.
There is not a single cliché, and the probably amateur actors are used to effective visual effect with very little dialog.
(originally written 5/19/2002)
I see this film after many years that I living out of Iran ,I think that maybe it is humdrum for someone but it have a really romance story . not only me but many of the guy's that I know them ,see this film for more than one time.also I must say about actors and back ground of this , I think that it have a poor camera moving ,and also not have a wide back ground , but actors ,specially first boy and Afghans girl have a nice play in this film ,it has a simple story but have a deep looking to human life (real life) so I hope that this film director and actors make more film like this , I guess that it's have a many customer like us out of Iran .
Like the Iranian film "Djomeh," which I saw in November, this film's main
character is a young man living in Iran working for an older relative, this
time in a construction job. Also similarly it involves the relationship
between the native Iranians and refugees from Afghanistan.
The story, which moves slowly, involves sacrifice and a degree of romance. The cinematography is gorgeous, with a much more mobile camera than was seen in "Djomeh," and some truly beautiful compositions. This film was Iran's entry for the best foreign language film Academy Award, and is to be distributed in the US by Miramax, although they have apparently delayed it until the Spring. I saw it at the Camera Cinema Club (in San Jose, CA) on 2/17/2002.
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