Sometimes, a stillness in a film is all it needs to tell a heartfelt story. It does not have to be heavy on dialogues. I mean they help, of course, but sometimes you just have to let the viewers sink into the characters and their life and miseries. The film shows what 3 individuals go through in their heart, their pain, their heartache and longing and also some decisions that you have to take in life even unwillingly.
A middle aged gay couple, Mohsen and Hassan flee Iran illegally to France to avoid a death sentence. They find themselves in a small village in France. They decide to travel separately for safety reasons. Mohsen, who speaks French fluently, meets an elderly Lady Yolande on the train and they strike up a conversation. In a spur of moment, she offers Mohsen a job in her house to paint. They both need extra income, so they stay in the village in a cheap hotel and Mohsen goes to work while Hassan stays in the hotel. The next day since Yolande is out, Mohsen takes Hassan to her house but he has to lock himself up in the attic when Yolande comes back. Clearly Yolande has been longing for a man which is more than evident when she offers Mohsen to marry her so that he can get papers. They both end up getting physical that night which is witnessed by Hassan. The 3rd day police catch Mohsen for having no paper and he does not contest. When Yolande comes to meet him, he says that he is ok to go back to Iran but he would really like if she could take care of a very good friend of his, Hassan. She agrees but Hassan wants otherwise. He ends up boarding the same train that cops are taking to deport Mohsen back to Iran.
The performances in the film are subdued, full of grace and subtlety. Majority of the film combines intimate character studies of all the individuals. I got the impression that Mohsen purposefully gets himself caught because he does not want to either leave Hassan or be disrespectful to Yolande. Plus he realizes that Hassan had seen him with Yolande, so maybe he does not want to be with Mohsen anymore. But by his actions in the end, Hassan proves that whatever happens, he will always follow Mohsen wherever he goes. The pacing of the film is extremely extremely slow. I have an appetite for god cinema but this one for me particularly was very slow. It was visually beautiful and handles the subject of longing in middle age with grace without heavy dialogues going back and forth. It does calm you.
This film will definitely make you think. (5.5/10)
Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.