Hendi and Hormoz
Hendi va Hormoz
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Abbas Amini’s movie tells the story of a 13-year-old girl, a 16-year-old boy and their arranged marriage. Set on Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf, where hematite deposits create extraordinary blood-red rocks and tides, it’s a beautiful, ballad-like film, one in which the lead characters are imbued with vitality and dignity. Hendi (Zohreh Eslami) is fiery, proud and most unhappy with her situation; Hormoz (Hamed Alipour) is awkward, proud and unhappy as well, if in a different way. He’s looking for work so he can fulfill his duties as a husband and a man; she’s waiting for him to do so in the hopes of making the most of a situation that, for her, is less than ideal. As time goes on, a bond develops, but so does mortal danger…
Amini has cast his leads perfectly: Eslami radiates will and defiance as the reluctant young bride, and Alipour is terrific as a boy whose actual abilities undercut his machismo. Hormoz is the more vulnerable of the two, and watching him try to establish himself as a man brings moments of both humour and heartbreak. The feelings he has for his bride are as much about honour as they are about love; as for her, she finds herself moving beyond resentment to affection and perhaps something even stronger. Tough-hearted and tender in equal measure, this is a film made to stir the emotions.