Sooteh-Delan is a 1978 Iranian film directed by Ali Hatami and stars Behrouz Vossoughi, Jamshid Mashayekhi, and Fakhri Khorvash. The title of the movie translates to 'Broken-Hearted' which sets the mood for the movie. The movie is set in a small village in Iran, where the main character, Amir (Behrouz Vossoughi), returns home from his studies in the city after the death of his father. The film explores the tension between traditional rural values and modern urban values through the eyes of Amir, a young man trying to navigate the two worlds.
As Amir struggles to come to terms with the loss of his father, he finds himself falling in love with a young woman named Goli (Zari Khoshkam). However, Goli's father (Jalal Pishvaian) has already arranged for her to marry someone else. Amir's love for Goli becomes complicated and painful as his heart frequently endures the feeling of pain and separation. This emotional turbulence shows Amir's disconnection from what the village and the adults surround him see as the pathway to love.
The story also delves into the dynamics of relationships in the village with the character of Gholam (Jamshid Mashayekhi), who is Amir's closest friend. Gholam is married to a much older woman (Pouri Banai), and they have a young child together. However, Gholam falls in love with a teenage girl (Shohreh Aghdashloo), who is both his wife's niece and his own nephew's wife. He dances with emotions of guilt, temptation, and resistance towards how society would dictate his behavior.
Meanwhile, the local police officer, Hossein Khan (Fakhri Khorvash), tries to maintain law and order within the village while dealing with his personal dilemmas. He too is in love with Goli, but like Amir, he cannot marry her because her father has already arranged for her to marry someone else.
As the movie progresses, the characters of Amir, Gholam, and Hossein Khan all experience internal turmoil as they come to terms with their emotions and their place in the world. The viewer sees the emotional and social struggle faced by men who live in a patriarchal society that has not come to terms with the reality of women being able to make choices for themselves. The film brings forth the limitations of rural life and how it forces individuals to cling to societal ties that inhibit individual personal growth.
Ali Hatami, the director of Sooteh-Delan, expertly weaves traditional Iranian folk music and poetry into the film, adding a poetic quality to the story. The music elevates the film's narrative and serves to capture the raw and honest emotions of the characters. A reflection of Iranian culture's richness, it comes alive while the main characters discuss their struggles, fears, and hopes.
The cinematography of Sooteh-Delan is another distinguishing feature of the movie. The film's use of natural lighting and organic mise-en-scÃ¨ne creates an immersive experience, painting a vivid and unforgettable picture of the Iranian village's rustic life, customs, and traditions.
The film touches upon relevant themes like love, freedom, and tradition, making it a cultural classic and one of the most significant Iranian movies of its time. It garnered critical acclaim upon its release, leaving a lasting imprint on Iranian cinema. It's a movie that beautifully portrays the complexity of life in Iran, leaving the audience with a thoughtful and poignant story of love, loss, and sacrifice.