Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Iranian Cinema is one area where I have swam less compared to other world cinema streams. Recently I happened to watch BARAN by Majid Majidi. I found it very endearing.

It is the story of a construction worker in Iran, Lateef. He is not much of an active worker there, but just helps the workers around there. He is short tempered and cheeky. There are lots of Afghans immigrants working in the construction site illegally. One day, one of the Afghan worker falls from the 2 nd floor is hurt very badly. The next day his son Rahmat comes over to take place of his ailing father. Rahmat does not speak, and finds it very difficult to cope up with the physical work there and so is handed over the work done by Lateef till then. Making tea, cooking food and the rest which Rahmat does with ease. Lateef is made to do the hard work now. Lateef hates Rahmat as he lost his easy work to Rahmat. He fights with Rahmat every now and then. One fine day, he learns a secret about Rahmat, which changes his entire outlook, and the rest of the movie is yours to watch.

Lateef is one of the best characters written for a movie. Rahmat is brilliantly portrayed on screen. Lots of other brilliant characters including the head of the construction site Memar, the afghan worker Soltan who wants to return home and so on. A few scenes are magical, to say one, the scene where Lateef learns the secret about Rahmat is lyrical.

I was thoroughly impressed by the simplicity of the movie and the brilliance of the director Majid Majidi. Later on more googling I found that this is the same who directed "Children of heaven" another beautiful movie, one of the most simplistic movies that I have ever watched.

If you like simple stories, real lovable characters and if you want to try your hands at Iranian cinema, both these movies are must watch. 8/10


  1. Ahem..Both are bad movies. Slow paced and boring till the end. Maybe CoH is the worse of the two though...Can't understand what you see in these flicks

  2. dai nee eppo inda padatha parthe..?? I know how you got to watch CoH.. :P.. how you hated that. but how come you fell for the same guy again??.. But you are an exception though. This review assumes that the reader are normal human beings :P.. who are atleast once in while moved by movies..
    agree that it was slow paced(i would call it a realistic pace though).. but i found it very engaging.. as it showed the gradual evolution of the characters.. What do you think is boring in this movie?
    Forgot to add a disclaimer. Only for folks who cant atleast sit through abt 30 minutes of drama. :)

  3. I didn't know it was the same chap...The horror!..And I would be outright shocked beyond recovery if you compare your taste to any forms of normalcy known to humans...How did you find this engaging ? ..I am starting to dread the days when you make some of your own..It was pretty clear as to who Baran was and the tongue-in-cheek references to sufism...what with the doves and the miser falling for the imposter...And why is a shoemaker shown in everyone of his films!

  4. lolz.. "To each his own", and that suits even to the individual's perceived normalcy quotient.. though my tastes is eccentric, unlike you, it would still fall under a classifiable section :).. as for the dread that you feel.. all i can say is that you are in good company.. "Who Baran was?", there was no secret in that. Are you calling Lateef a miser?? y so.. though at times I felt that his reactions where unfathomable, as juror 8 of 12 angry men would ask, "Isnt that POSSIBLE?".. anyway i forgot COH totally and dont remember the shoemaker in that.. Do you feel that he is some metaphor? The one in this movie, was kinda funny.. :)

  5. Its been a long time and I hardly managed to sit through the gruelling I may be out of track but I remember Lateef being shown as hoarding every penny till the dam cracks halfway thru the film post which he is shown as the massiah for Baran and co...It reminds of 80s sad hindi film shown in 3 idiots and Lateef's character reminded me of Dhanush n like...wat from wisecracks at every1's expense to a responsible loser..Btw..even Arnold's reactions were unfathomable in T2...The context matters...bigtime bad movies..CoH !!! :X

  6. when i meant reaxns.. i didnt mean his facial reaxns.. i was talking abt his behavior.. there is no comparison to arnolds facial reaxns though.. abt the film in general .. different folks different strokes.. :)