The Willow Tree (Beed-e majnoon) (2007)

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After years of refusing to let his handicap get in the way of his success, a blind professor whose vision is restored experiences a dramatic shift in personality in this drama from director Majid Majidi. A renown professor of poetry at a Tehran university, Youssef (Parvis Parastui) has been blessed with a loving wife, a beautiful daughter, and a picturesque suburban home. Despite being blinded in a childhood accident, Youssef has successfully overcome his disability to live a happy and rewarding life. When the threat of a terminal disease finds Youssef hastily departing to Paris to seek the care of a highly-regarded specialist, the subsequent relief of discovering that he is not in danger after all is made even more joyous by the revelation that he is now eligible for the cornea transplant that promises to restore his sight. Soon returning to Iran and experiencing the world around him in a whole new light, Youssef begins to resent the years that he spent in darkness and, after forsaking the love of his devoted wife for the beauty of a stranger he barely knows, finds his bitterness evolving into aggression that threatens to destroy both himself and those who love him most.

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Critic Reviews for The Willow Tree (Beed-e majnoon)

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (8)

This is powerful stuff.

Jan 25, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Majidi infuses his simple yet eloquent tale with stunning imagery designed to make us relate to Youssef's reawakening.

Sep 10, 2007

A perfectly worked out story and a marvelous new step forward for Iranian director Majid Majidi. It is also, in some ways, yet another step forward for his country's cinema, a national art that grows more accomplished every year.

Aug 3, 2007 | Rating: 4/4

Explicitly religious, intensely poetic meditations, filled with recurrent symbols and suffused with a spirit of divine apprehension. [It is] sad beyond measure.

Aug 3, 2007 | Rating: 4/5

A beautiful, strange film, deeply moving and no surprise from [director] Majidi.

Aug 2, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4
Newsday
Top Critic

A beautiful film, both simple and profound, which suggests that bargaining with God is a bad idea in all cultural traditions.

Aug 2, 2007

Audience Reviews for The Willow Tree (Beed-e majnoon)

It needs a patiece to enjoy and watch this sort of movie.

Wahida K
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

½

The Willow tree can be described as a companion piece to Majidi's, Color of Paradise, where the father saw his blind son as a burden and not as a blessing. Here, the characters of the father and the son are embodied in a single person: Yusef. Who after 38 years of being blind regains his sight. What he sees, however, is quite different to what he "saw" as a blind man, and not necessarily more beautiful or rewarding. The world around him is totally different and he struggles even more. He is not able to cope with what he sees and his image of his wife and the family and his mother all confuse him. Majidi takes the viewer to a higher, more spiritual world and in doing so creates another masterpiece. His movies are visually stunning and have such a profound effect on the viewer. As in all Majidi films, there are scenes which will stay with you long even when the movie is over.It does for me. A superb movie. Love it..

Daisy  Maduro
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

There's more than meets the eye in this gem from Iran. A fascinating story that is executed both beautifully and brilliantly. Parviz Parastui gives an emotionally charged, yet subtle and masterful performance, which polishes this film. Like "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", the viewer will have their perception of beauty and reality challenged, while taking away a sort of sad inspiration from this film. Perspective dictates happiness and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Richard Franzen
Richard Franzen

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "The Willow Tree," Yusef(Parviz Parastui) is a university professor in Tehran married to Roya(Roya Taymourian) and father of a young girl, Maryam(Melika Eslafi). He has also been blind since the age of eight. While at a hospital in France to have a tumor beneath one of his eyes removed, he learns his retinas are not totally gone and there is a chance that he may regain his sight...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"The Willow Tree" is an insightful and thoughtful parable about how we see the world with our eyes but also how the blind live in the world, especially by how they listen to sounds. Yusef's losing his sight when he was a child irrevocably changed not only his life and the direction it would take, but also how people see him. So, I cannot condemn him for his actions, as he seeks to discover the kind of person he could have been.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Early on in the film, Yusef takes a fall and is later seen unconscious in a hospital bed but his recovery is not shown nor is this event again mentioned. So, it is possible that the later events in the film are simply dreamed by him, imagining what it would be like to have his sight back.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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