Wednesday, January 6, 2010

HEIRAN the Movie. A STARK look at a LOVE LOST in IRAN.

How stark can it be when, during the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, 3 million Afghans, mostly illegals, flooded into Iran, causing enormous problems for the Iranian society to accept them?
In director SHALIZEH AREFPOUR’s maiden effort at helming this feature film “HEIRAN“, she takes us on an eye-opening journey exploring the plight of the Afghan immigrants, whose rights are crushed along with the rights of the Iranian women.
It’s life itself unfolding before our eyes and it’s kinda sad, you know?
SHALIZEH AREFPOUR assures us that love transcends all boundaries, creeds and religions.
She draws a fine line between reality and art showcasing fragile bonds tenuously holding individuals, families and religions together.
For real?
We watch with sympathy when it is apparent that the universe that she has created is a troubled one and is threatening to swallow everything along with it.
You take this headstrong and stubborn 17 year-old Iranian girl, a college student.
A brilliant student, she has everything going for her until …
she meets this strapping young Afghan migrant worker on a bus.
They have the hots for each other.
They fall in love … at a wrong time, in a wrong country.
Ignoring parental objection, she flees to Tehran, marries him and bears him a child.
Her discovery that life is not a bed of roses and love is not just about fresh air throws her immediately into premature adulthood.
The issues of love and family ties will surely strike an emotional chord in us.
They always do.
But we are talking here about hopes lost, renewed and then dashed.
This is one gem of a movie from IRAN, a complicated family drama steep in simplicity in the “treatment” when it comes to a fine director’s touch.
A pitch-perfect ensemble of professional Iranian actors lends credence to the story.
Baran Kosari (female lead), Mehrdad Sedighian (Heiran) and Khosro Shakibaei (grandpa) put on compassionate performances as they chronicle the desperate journey of love and survival across troubled Iran.
You don’t need a super duper budget and a great cast to make you sit on the edge of your seat and take stock of how lucky we all are, and that we tend to take a lot of things in life for granted.
HEIRAN is one compelling, unforgettably moving film.
With excellent true-to-life acting and a sincere script, it makes for exceptionally, intelligent entertainment.
Truth piques our minds, shall we say?
HEIRAN is didactic in approach, and at times we tend to confront our own pain and guilt hoping for a healing process,
Somewhere along the line, through certain poignant moments depicted in the film, I cannot help but feel that there’s a touch of YASMIN AHMAD, the late Malaysian director in the treatment.

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