In author Atiq Rahimi’s adaptation of his bestselling novel The Patience Stone, we watch a nameless mother and wife (Iranian- born Golshifteh Farahani) simply known as “the woman” strive to take care of her comatose husband (Hamid Djavadan) and two children in a nameless Middle Eastern town that’s bombarded by war. In the beginning, the woman is still trying to fit into her appointed role as a good wife by asking for permission from her husband, but she soon tries to find her own voice.
After a pointless quarrel, the husband was shot in the neck, leaving the woman to take care of his every need. Those looking for relief from their troubles and suffering can call upon the patience stone, a mythical rock from a fable that would be able to listen to all the pain and troubles of that person until the stone shatters, freeing those who first called upon it. We listen to the woman’s monologue and we soon discover that her unresponsive husband becomes her patience stone whether that was his wish or not.
While taking care of her husband, she soon reveals her true feelings about her life and her thoughts about their marriage. Never before had he listened to her so she took this particular chance to speak, without realizing what she was even saying at first. After her first few exchanges with him she came to grips with the joy that it gave her to tell her husband of over ten years all the things that she had kept in,the things that would have killed her if she spoke to him while he was conscious.
When the woman reveals her feelings, we learn her wishes, desires, regrets,and secrets. Although she was free inside her house from wearing the burkas, never before had she been free to speak how she really felt. While this story appears to tell a tale of a woman kept in repression at first, the story speaks to a much greater volume of people. The story is enhanced even more by keeping particular names and elements nameless. By doing this, the story is able to speak to more people about the veil we are all subjected to wear.
This story is able to open up a window into a life of a woman who has been silenced by her country, her religion, her husband and for the longest time even herself. We grow up in a society learning its rules and most go about never once questioning the why of them. We become complacent in the routine and the rules, becoming complacent in the safety of it all. Through her confessions, the woman goes through a sea of emotions beginning with what seems to be love but as her story becomes clearer, it becomes more of a sense of marital obligation.
In the end she must choose between being the obedient wife or living with her newfound freedom; a choice not easily made. This film will take you on an exploration of confessions, the frank reality of what it means to be a wife and to be governed by rules you cannot control.