Directed by Majid Majidi of the Children of Heaven and Colour of Paradise fame, Baran is once again, quietly charming and impactfully moving. An exchange of an eye contact, a discreet smile, the footstep left in the muddy path as the rain came pouring and the hands almost touching each other…these scenes if not familiar, are still captivating under the magical wand of the Iranian director. I like the development of a love story that doesn’t really spin into a full blown passion. That the emotional attachment was as short lived as an afternoon shower, yet the cool breeze accompanying the passing shower has left much more to be told.
To the protagonist Lateef, he has seen and felt love which taught him that life is more than just being and for himself. He has been transformed for his leading lady named after the title Baran, to become a real man, her hero running to render her help whenever needed. And so he gave up all his one year savings, even his identity card in exchange for money to tide her family over, only to realize that the family is moving back to Afghanistan. Indeed, as she veiled herself before boarding the truck which will transport her and the family back to their homeland, the 17 year-old Iranian youth has grown to be a selfless young man with a sense of responsibility who can appreciate this bitter-sweet love.
And so it’s separation for the two, in fact they may forever stay apart with the existence of the cultural and political differences. Still, the rain will stop and the trace of a footstep will vanish in no time.