Flowers for those who want to see them!

Loreak is one of those slow-paced movies, where little action is happening yet it leaves so much anticipation behind. Shot in the Basque region of Spain in 2014, it was the first Basque language movie to be nominated for the Oscars.
Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to the list of the best foreign films. Loreak means flower in the Basque language, and this is what the whole movie is evolving around.
Ane — one of the main characters — is a woman in her mid-forties who’s been diagnosed with early menopause. She shares a tedious life with a husband who barely speaks to her and shows more interest to their television set. Ane starts receiving different flower bouquets sent to her house on regular bases. The couple thinks that it’s a mistake. But when checking with the flower shop, the seller confirms that the flowers are meant for Ane — without a name or an address to indicate the sender.
To maintain peace at home, Ane decides to hide the newly sent flowers and sneak them to her office out of her husband’s sight. Ane’s outlook to the world starts changing. She finds it flattering to have a secret admirer and life becomes more interesting.
The movie then focuses on other women, a mother and her daughter-in-law who can’t see in the eye. The mother —Tere — doesn’t seem to approve of her daughter-in-law — Lourdes. The son Beñat feels caught in the middle. He’s an only son and seems to be taking his mother’s side by trying to find excuses for her behaviour. This makes Lourdes bitter and angry all the time.
As an escape of this tiresome situation, Beñat focuses on his gardening hobby and in watching his colleague Ane from the tower crane he functions. They both work in a construction site but rarely meet. Beñat once enters Ane’s office and comments that her flowers need attending.
He suggests aspirin to make them last longer. When Beñat suddenly dies in a car accident, Tere and Lourdes lives changes drastically. Lourdes decides to cut relations with her mother-in-law, despite Tere’s suggestion to try to reconciliate, as a respect to her dead son. Lourdes moves out of her flat to start a new life. Nevertheless, she can’t escape the sense of disappointment left by her old marriage.
For years to come, Tere keeps visiting the accident site leaving fresh flowers. She’s surprised to find that someone else has been leaving flowers too. When she bumps into Lourdes and mentions the flowers, Lourdes denies any knowledge of it. Lourdes’s curiosity rises and decides to find out the person who leaves the fresh bouquets.
Meanwhile, Tere discovers that the person who leaves the flowers is Ane. Ane suspects that Beñat was her secret admirer, as the flowers had stopped coming after his death.
Lourdes also tries to understand the relationship that Ane and her husband shared, by giving her a ride to the accident site. But things get even more complicated when Lourdes receives Beñat’s ashes and tries to figure out, who is worth of keeping it among the three of them.
The movie is a joy to watch. Basque language was a mystery, sounding so foreign yet familiar with a few Spanish words here and there. The main characters were brought out so well, that you’d always end up empathising with one of the characters.
The movie explores different human relationships (motherhood, marriage and impossible friendships) and the different emotions they evoke. How the lives of these women intersect and forever changes because of flowers, is what made this movie unique in its own way.
Rasha al Raisi is a certified skills trainer and the author of: The World According to Bahja. rashabooks@yahoo.com