Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Leila - Irani Movie

The only Irani movie that I have seen to date is 'Children of Heaven' which is a classic. Now thanks to Sagar I have the delicious prospect of getting to watch a few more classics. To begin with I started off by watching 'Leila' today.

Leila is a young, happy girl who falls in love and marries Reza, a family friend. The couple are madly in love with one another and everything is fine until the year turns and her in laws start talking of children and stuff. In a visit to the doctor the couple finds that Leila has some problem conceiving. All sorts of treatments, prayers and nothing works. Leila is under a lot of stress from her mother in law who always wanted her son to marry an aunt's daughter and not Leila and there are constant follow ups on their visits to the doctor, the results and how there can never be a problem with their son. Slowly the happy couple find themselves under a lot of stress. They even think of adopting a child when Leila decides that Reza need not adopt a child when he can have one of his own. She tells him that.

Her mother in law also wants Reza to take a second wife and pressurises her daughter in law to accept one. Reza is not convinced but Leila pushes him and even accompanies him to see the girls. Though she puts up a brave front she is breaking down inside and it is only a matter of time that Reza says yes to a girl. On the day of the wedding Leila realises that she cannot stay in the same house and bring up the child as she promised Reza she would and leaves for her home. Reza's family, his father and sisters, are upset with him allowing himself to be bullied  by his mother and aunt but what is done is done. Leila refuses to go back to Reza. the new wife also leaves with the lack of attention after a year, leaving Reza's mother to take care of her new born girl child. And the movie ends at another feast held in the family three years after Leila and Reza meet in a similar feast. Reza comes with his pretty three year old daughter to visit, hoping Leila will go back with him. She does not.

Irani movies have a pace of their own, a pain and angst of their own. Brilliant stuff though, their depiction of human nature within its slivers and folds is amazing. It is very understated and all drama comes through naturally, never with an intention to exploit an emotion. It allows the emotion to come by, to feel itself. It is a slow, dull pain that one feels in certain moments in life. Leila is certainly recommended for movie buffs or anyone who is interested in human drama. One wonders that it is almost the same in any culture - family, children, in laws, the sense of guilt and responsibility..and so much needless pain.


Rajendra said...

For a total antithesis, with exploitation of base emotions crassly shot, I would recommend Ekta Kapoor serials or their clones...I watched one clone for about 15 minutes as the TV was on (a Marathi clone), and by God, I shudder at how people can watch thi stuff day after day...thank God I got interested in reading!

Harimohan said...

The classic case of what the audience wants I guess. The era of the sensible film/TV serial maker is gone. We deserve them and they deserve us!

Asr said...

Children of Heaven. Ah such a Classic. If you liked it Iam sure you'll also like Colour of Paradise from the same director. Majid Majidi's films are so simple yet so profound and touching.

Harimohan said...

I will look out for it Asr, thanks for the tip. I have some more classics in the pipeline including some Irani movies. Looking forward to watching a lot of movies this summer - preferably the classics.