Title “Rain”, Baran
Director: Majid Majidi
Production Date: 2001
Rain is the story of a number of events that shift the life a simple construction labourer in Iran from that of a rough behaviour and self-centeredness to one with compassion and affection. This was made possible by a manner of Platonic love which tiptoes into his life quite suddenly. He gets to fall in love with a girl from an Afghan immigrant family with a father who is now incapable of work as a result of work injuries. The girl assuming a young boy’s attire is recruited by her father’s employer in sympathy with affliction of her father. This is ensued by a period of competition between the main character i.e. Latif the labourer and the newly employed young boy. At some stage it became clear to Latif that the suffering boy is actually a girl. Latif has already developed some empathy towards the agony of the young boy because of his apparent physical weakness. Finding out that the boy was actually a girl intensifies his sense of sympathy and sorrow for her transparent cumbersome burdens. At some stage – it appears – the charitable sense of duty of Latif’s part turns into a romantic feeling; a feeling that will remain unspoken of and only finds its manifestations in acts of extreme kindness performed anonymously by Latif to help the girl and her family. These acts are largely unrecognised by the girl as a result of Latif’s measures of hiding their source. Yet the severity and extreme nature of these acts including conferring all wages he has earned in a long time next to the sale of ID document are indicative of a kind spirit which is now elevated into new record highs.
Technically one can clearly notice Majidi’s elaborate effort in synchronising scenes with quite adequately selected and composed pieces of music. Smallest of moves seem to have not been left with finely tuned sounds. Locations –though surrounded by people in misery – are spaces and structures of some style; each in their own category.
All in all the film is a saga of charity, honesty, selflessness and sacrifice stemming from unadulterated feeling of a pure heart towards the predicaments of other fellow human beings regardless of race, colour, gender and social status.
Another point of prominence about this film is a connection that is usually made between the Persian spiritual heritage and the symbolisms utilised in this movie. Next to religious relics and shrines, some more profound concept are reportedly attributed to segments from the movie. Of these is the sale of his ID to the people smuggling mafia in order to be able to offer the proceeds to the downtrodden family of the girl. This is construed in a mystical framework of annilation of the lover in his beloved one which is pure spiritual concept in Persian Sufism. At the ulitimate segment when the girl has now left for good, Latif stairs at her footprint in the mud with an innocent and well-intentioned grin. At the juncture rain starts pouring. Rian gets stronger and the viewr can clearly see that rain is eventually destined to wipe the footprint away. Spiritually the footprint explifies any sign that indirectly guides to the existence of some invisible being particularly God. The rainfall which is going to alleviate and remove the footprint is a symbole of the abslote being of God in which everything else is naught. These are however perception that may not have been necessarily intended by the makers of this film and yet are widely discussed.