Like a Rock, by David Bax
The title of Atiq Rahimi’s The Patience Stone comes from a fable told to the main character early on. It seems there was a woman, burdened with heartache and a multitude of other tribulations. One day, this woman sat down and told all her troubles to a stone. When she was done, the stone split open and, with that, all of the woman’s unhappiness was gone. It’s an interesting little tale but, if you’ve read between the lines, you’ve realized by now that The Patience Stone mostly consists of a woman soliloquizing to an inanimate object.
That’s not necessarily a bad idea. And given the setting of war-torn, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, it’s not easy to imagine that this could have been a very good movie. Sadly, the screenplay’s self-importance and purple dialogue begin to grate very early on and don’t let up.
As nice as it is to see our lead character develop a proudly autonomous personality while unburdening herself of all the hardships of real women in that place, the process is all too artificial, ultimately doing a disservice to those whose lives it attempts to reflect.