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Movie Review: God will come

Summary

God will come or خدا می آید is a great movie by director Majidi Majidi from 1996.

Mohsen’s and Massumeh’s mother is very ill, and the family is in dire need of money for the operation. The villagers lost all hope of her recovery and tell the children that only God can help her.

God knows best: one day he gives, another he doesn’t.

— A characteristic quote from the movie.

So they decide to write him a letter and ask for help. And sure enough, their prayers are answered, although in an unexpected way.

A characteristic quote from the movie is “God knows best: one day he gives, another he doesn’t”.

Characters

It follows an analysis of some of the main characters in the movie. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, you can read my synopsis further below first.

Synopsis

At the beginning of the movie, Mohsen’s father, who is visibly distressed, is interrupting the school lecture of Mohsen and Massumeh to have a conversation with Mohsen.

Outside, he tells Mohsen that his mother has returned home from the clinic and that he will go to the city to somehow round up money. He gives Mohsen clear instructions what to do during his absence.

Mohsen’s responsibilities include taking care of the fire wood, fetching the milk for his mother from the supermarket owner Mr. Ghassem on a daily basis and having an eye on Massumeh. As Mohsen’s grandmother is living with the family, his father is urging him to listen to what she says. Before sending Mohsen back to class, he is stressing the point that his mother is to drink milk daily, by recommendation of the doctor.

As the father is turning around to leave, Mohsen cries out: “Father! Can I go duck-hunting?” and his father replies: “If it doesn’t make you tired, go.”

Father! Can I go duck-hunting?

— Mohsen to his father.

The scene changes. We see the father as he is waiting for the bus while smoking a cigarette. As the bus arrives, he hurries after it to catch it and throws his cigarette away. As the bus is driving away, we see the father watching out of the steamy window into the surrounding forest, lost in his thoughts.


In the next scene, we see the school from a far distance as the bell rings and children run out, shouting in joy and excitement over the long awaited end of the school day.

Mohsen and Massumeh run back home and see a couple of women entering their house. They wait from a distance as to not be seen, and Mohsen gives Massumeh his schoolbag to carry it inside to the main house, while he is quickly putting the fire wood into the barn.

He is taking the last few logs to heat up the oven, and enters the side chamber to listen to the conversation between his mother and the befriended women in the main chamber. During their following conversation, he stays undetected by them.

Mohsen’s mother explains to who appears to be befriended women from the neighborhood that she is supposed to have a very expensive operation. She is desperate and seemingly doesn’t know how to find a solution to her situation.

Only the devil is desperate. God is the Healer.

— Friend of Mohsen’s mother.

Her friends try to give her hope by praising God and offering their support whenever she needs help. They begin to say different prayers on Mohsen’s mother’s health.

When asked about her husband, Mohsens’ mother explains that he is trying to find someone to lend them money for the operation, but she doesn’t have high hopes that he’ll succeed, as he is shy.

In return, the group is starting to say prayers again. The mother’s gaze falls onto Massumeh who was present the whole time, unnoticed by her mother. She asks Massumeh when she came, and where Mohsen is. Massumeh replies that Mohsen is stacking fire wood, and the friends announce that they have to leave now.

As they leave, they praise God and ask him to cure Mohsen’s mother. Before Mohsen enters the main chamber, his friends appear and ask him if he wants to join for duck hunting. He says that he will join them later.


Mohsen enters the house and greets his mother. She is very happy to see him, but as he asks about going to duck hunt, she is concerned about his homework. Mohsen says that he will eat a couple of pastries and finishes his homework after duck hunting, as his father also allowed it. After some back and forth, he finally convinces her, and leaves after his friends.

He is an ardent boy. He’s just like his father.

— Mohsen’s grandmother about him.

Mohsen’s grandmother, who was also amongst the group of women in the previous conversation, states that Mohsen is “an ardent boy. He’s just like his father.”


In the next scene, Mohsen is seen as he runs after his friends, carrying a duck. He crosses a bridge and is seen to cross lots of different terrains in quick cuts. He also encounters horses along the way, so it seems to be quite a long trip for him. Finally, he reaches the others who are already fully emerged into their preparations for duck hunting. Mohsen stands still for a couple of seconds, observing the lake and busy people, and then hastes over to meet his friends.

The kids observe the older hunters who are preparing traps in the lake for the ducks. Then, they are putting their ducks into the lake to attract more ducks, and go hide into a hut located at the lake’s bank. The children join them.

As the hunters are starting to smoke in their hiding, one of them utters: “There are no ducks today.”. Another replies: “God knows best: one day he gives, the other he doesn’t.”.

The hunting group is waiting for a while, but seemingly doesn’t have success with hunting.

Mohsen watches the lake disappointed and impatient.


Back home, the family is having dinner. Mohsen’s grandmother is feeding the mother a soup, encouraging her to eat it to regain strength. Mohsen and Massumeh are observing the scene visibly worried, but not saying anything.

The grandmother is instructing Mohsen to fetch fire wood. He is going outside to the barn and is not stopped by the heavy rain.

Back inside, the grandmother is preparing incense, and prays to God for saving her daughter in law. She asks Massumeh if she finished her homework, which she affirms. Then they are sewing together, while the grandmother is consoling her grandchild.

This prompts Massumeh to ask whether God can do everything, which the grandmother affirms. Massumeh asks further, whether God can cure her mother.

If God deems it advisable, your mother will get well.

— Mohsen’s grandmother replying to Massumeh.

The grandmother replies: “If God deems it advisable, your mother will get well.” Mohsen asks, what advisable means, which his grandmother answers with “If it’s proper, if it’s appropriate.”, which prompts Mohsen in turn to ask what appropriate means.

The grandmother replies, “It means when the time comes.”, so Mohsen asks when the time will come. The grandmother replies that when the children don’t tell lies and say their prayers, her mother will get very well.

Massumeh asks where God is, which the grandmother replies with, “God is everywhere, my girl. He can see and hear everything.”. Massumeh asks, if God can hear it if we say something to ourselves, which her grandmother affirms.

The grandmother repeats her urge for the children to pray for sick people, which will make Mohsen’s mother get better.

The scene ends with Massumeh staring thoughtfully into the camera, reflecting about what her grandmother just told her.


In a new scene, we see a villager carrying brushwood back to the village, as Mohsen is running past him to school.

We see the school from a far distance, as a man is approaching it on a motor bike. As he knocks, the teacher is answering the door and the man hands him over a letter. Mohsen observes this encounter vigilantly.

1st graders copy the books! 2nd graders do your math!

— Mohsen’s teacher to the class.

As the teacher opens the letter, he exhorts the class to their duties. Mohsen is still watching him very interestedly. The camera zooms to a close up of his face, as he is coming up with an idea.


The school bell rings, and children are leaving the school. Mohsen is running into an unusual direction, so Massumeh asks him where he is going. He replies shopping, and tells Massumeh to go home instead of following him. She abides dutifully, and we see Mohsen running to the village shop.

Mr. Ghassem, the shop owner, greets him friendly, and Mohsen requests a letter. Mr. Ghassem asks what he wants to do with a letter, and Mohsen replies that he wants to write a letter.

Drop it in the mail-box. It will find its way.

— Mr Ghassem about Mohsen’s letter.

The following conversation is mainly driven by Mr. Ghassem while Mohsen is staying mostly silent, only uttering a quick “Good Bye.” as he leaves the shop with the letter, envelope and stamp he received from Mr. Ghassem.


Mohsen quickly runs back home, hesitates for a moment, and then heads into the barn instead the main chamber. Massumeh who was watching him from inside is joining him in the barn, as he is taking his newly acquired equipment out of his bag.

Massumeh wants to know who she is writing to, and after making sure she won’t tell anyone, she replies that he is sending a letter to God.

Massumeh wants to know how, and he explains that he will throw the letter into the mail box, and it will arrive at God.

She wants to know what he will write, and they come up with a letter together that describes their situation.

Hello God! My name is Mohsen. My sister’s is Massumeh. Our mother is very ill. Our mother is very ill. She must go to the hostpital, so the doctors will cure her. But they want a lot of money. My father has gone to a city, hoping to bring a lot of money. But if he can’t find enough money, my mother won’t get well. Everybody said that God can solve all problems and God always cures ill people. Now, Massumeh and I are writing a letter for you to come and take our mother to the hospital. You’re very kind. You love children and we love you. If you don’t come, we will get so upset and we will cry. We know no one else who can help us but you. We will wait for you in the road of the village everyday, so that you will send someone who will come by car to take our mother to the hospital. This was our letter to you.

— Mohsen’s and Massumeh’s letter to God.

They tell God that they are writing so He takes their mother into the hospital and cures her. He is very kind and loves children, and the two of them love Him.


In the next scene, we see Mohsen’s mother suffering a lot of pain, as the grandmother is praying and Mohsen and Massumeh are sobbing next to here.

The grandmother is telling Mohsen to get Mrs. Belgheis for help, so he is going outside to bring her.

Mrs. Belgheis, my mother - my mother is very ill.

— Mohsen to Mrs. Belgheis.

After they return, Mrs. Belgheis is preparing an infusion that she is applying to Mohsen’s mother’s forehead.

She is trying to instill hope in Mohsen and Massumeh, and encourages them to be happy as their mother is surely getting better.

The grandmother is praising her for helping everyone, and together they are praying for the well being of the mother.


In the next scene, we see the mother and grandmother being asleep and hear Mohsen and Massumeh wispering to each other. They wonder when their father will come back.

Massumeh asks Mohsen if God has a house in the sky, and Mohsen answers that it’s on the moon. Massumeh in turn is concerned whether their letter will reach God’s house on the moon. The moon is farther away than the forest, after all.

Grandma said “God can do everything.”

— Mohsen.

Mohsen firmly believes that God will receive and read their letter.

What will happen next?

God will come.

— Massumeh and Mohsen about God.

Mohsen and Massumeh become silent and Massumeh stares into the full moon that is shining that night.


The next scene shows Massumeh and Mohsen running towards the village road, as they promised in their letter to God. They are patiently waiting, looking into the far distance, but no car is arriving.

A quick cut, and we see Mohsen back in the hut near the duck-hunting lake, together with his friends and fellow duck-hunters.

Another cut, and we see Mohsen and Massumeh as they participate in the school lecture.

A short scene shows their sick mother, being spoon-fed by their grandmother.

In the next cut, Mohsen and Massumeh are staring outside the window, into the night.

Then, we see Mohsen back at the village road, waiting.

Another scene at the hunting hut.


Now, we watch as Massumeh and Mohsen are doing work around the house. Massumeh is to light the fire work for their grandmother, as Mohsen is carrying away eggs to sell them on the local market.

Eggs, twelve tomans each!

— Mohsen, selling eggs.

Mohsen successfully sells the entire basket of eggs to an interested man.


We see a yellow post car approaching the post office, then a man inside who shoves all the letters onto a table. Post office staff is sorting the letters into the right boxes, for further delivery.

It’s a busy office, and the staff is concentrated on their work. A man delivers another basket full of letters and greets his colleagues,

An employee finds flowers among the letters and shares that with her colleagues, who also saw some before. They wonder what these flowers might do here.

She continues to sort the letters, sometimes correcting the stamp on a letter and sorting it into a different box. She is also finding more flowers among the letters, as one letter is dropping to the floor.

She is picking it up, and notices that inside is where all the flowers are coming from.

A letter without an address!

— Post office employee about Mohsen’s and Massumeh’s letter.

She mentions that the handwriting is childing, and wonders what to do with the letter. Her colleague mentions that it was probably just a game that the children were playing.

As the envelope is open, the two are looking inside, hoping to find the delivery address. The woman starts to read the letter, and a sad background music is starting to play.

Finally, she is turning down the letter and starts to cry. Her colleagues are starting to get worried and hurry towards her to console her.

This gets the attention of the director of the post office, who invites her into her office to calm her down. As her colleagues are escorting inside his office, he is picking up and reading the letter.

Another employee is asking him to read the letter out loud, and so he does.

Finally, he asks everyone to get back to work, and promises them to inform them of any further developments of this matter.

Back inside his office, he turns to the employee who opened the letter.

To be honest, until today, I had never felt the presence of God so clearly, and I didn’t know that God is so close to us. So close that he can show his grandeur in a few sentences written by two children.

— Post office director about Mohsen’s and Massumeh’s letter.

He announces that the colleagues have decided to find the kid’s address and pay for all the hospital expenses.


In the next scene, we see Mohsen grinning, watching back from the hunting hut, as ducks are flying by the dozens to the lake.

They are coming. They are coming.

— Mohsen about the ducks.

At the same time, we see an amublance driving down the village road Mohsen and Massumeh have been watching for so long.

They are coming!

— Mohsen.

Now, all hunters are leaning outside of the hut’s window, watching the approaching ducks expectantly. They ducks are situating themselves in the lake and swim around.

Patiently, the hunters wait until all ducks have arrived in the lake. Then, they activate the previously installed traps, and the hunters storm out to grab the now trapped ducks.

We see Mohsen watching other ducks flying in the sky. He throws the duck he caught back into the air, and watches it fly to join the large group of ducks in the sky.

THE END.

Published 17 Jun 2017

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