NahidCannes Film Festival 2015
Using the term “love triangle” in the context of this film seems a little counter-intuitive, but there it is. Nahid (Sareh Bayat), a young divorcée, is a single mother raising her only son and working two jobs, barely scraping enough money together to pay for her boy’s schooling.
When she finally finds love again, Nahid is prevented from committing to the wealthy widower, Masoud (Pejman Bazeghi) for fear that she will lose custody of her son to her immature, irresponsible ex-husband, who still professes his love for her. Nahid’s path to happiness appears to be fraught with obstacles.
One strikingly unconventional aspect of the film is that, despite its focus on Nahid’s fierce love for her son and romantic involvement with Masoud, the audience is left almost completely starved of any open displays of affection. And yet, this tough-love routine of the protagonist’s proves itself to be all-the-more powerful for the rarity with which her tenderness is expressed, and just as overwhelmingly passionate as any series of sentimental outbursts could communicate.
Then there is the matter of the bleak surroundings in which Nahid’s story takes place. The consistently dreary weather leaves the images devoid of any warmth, with barely any colours that do not comply with the film’s palette of muted, sombre hues. However, a notable exception is made for red, which makes a number of carefully considered appearances throughout the film, possibly symbolic of the passion which Nahid keeps stifled, but which manages to slip through the cracks here and there. Though Nahid’s apparent frigidity does not render her immediately accessible, the viewer is drawn by Bayat’s captivating performance and quickly becomes invested in her character’s pursuit of a better life, coming to admire her resourcefulness and perseverance.
Aside from the plot itself, Nahid functions as a window into a contemporary Iran, and the particular plight of the unmarried woman, subject to her family’s will. Above all else, though, this is the inspiring tale of a truly stoic soul.
Nahid does not yet have a UK release date.
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