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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 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"
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.
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.
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.
'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...
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.