‘The Blue Caftan’ (2022) Story Recap And Ending, Explained

The Blue Caftan, a stunning piece of cinema directed and written by Maryam Touzani, delves into the complexities of love, devotion, and sexuality through the lens of a middle-aged married couple, Halim and Yalin. As their already tumultuous marriage takes a turn for the worse with the arrival of a young man, viewers are taken on a thought-provoking journey that goes far beyond the typical love triangle trope. The film’s deliberately slow pacing masterfully reflects the weighty themes it explores. Featuring an exceptional cast, including Lubna Azabal, Saleh Bakri, Ayoub Missioui, and Zakaria Atifi, this cinematic gem is not to be missed.

Spoilers Ahead

The Troubled Marriage

Milna and Halim’s passion for the art of kaftan making was matched only by their financial woes. They had been struggling to keep their business afloat, and the lack of customers was becoming a common occurrence. Halim’s stubbornness towards modern sewing machines was holding back their progress, but his connection to the traditional methods was unwavering. In a stroke of luck, they found an apprentice in Yousuf, a young man with a gift for sewing. His impressive skills managed to impress even Halim, who couldn’t help but be drawn to Yousuf’s talent and charm. Yusuf’s arrival at the kaftan shop breathed new life into the struggling business. His remarkable sewing skills left Halim in awe, and his charming personality captivated the latter. Halim found himself drawn to Yusuf in a way that he couldn’t explain, and he was forced to confront his own hidden desires.  He had kept his homosexuality a secret, knowing all too well the consequences of being true to himself in a country where it was considered shameful and a criminal offense. Halim’s struggle with his sexuality affects not only his work life but also his personal life. Despite sharing a bed and a home, he hasn’t been intimate with his wife, Milna, in years. Halim avoids any intimate contact with her and doesn’t even glance in her direction when she changes her clothes in their bedroom, causing further frustration for Milna. She feels neglected and unloved, which only adds to the tension in their already strained marriage. To make matters worse, Milna can sense Halim’s interest in Yusuf and develops a hidden resentment toward him. She, in one instance, accused Yusuf of stealing from his shop, threatening to deduct his salary. 

Yalim struggles desperately to rekindle the spark in her marriage, going to great lengths to stand out and catch Halim’s attention. She even takes up smoking to set herself apart from the other women in their community and pretends to be interested in football to connect with him. However, it seems that Halim’s heart is elsewhere, consumed by his hidden desires for Yusuf. Meanwhile, Yalim is secretly dealing with a serious illness that puts her life at risk. Halim urges her to go to the hospital for tests, but she stubbornly refuses, not wanting to waste money on what she sees as unnecessary procedures.   

Yalin’s Deteriorating Health

As her condition worsens, Yalim must confront the possibility of leaving this world without ever truly being seen or loved by her husband. As Yusuf spends more time with Halim, he finds himself growing increasingly attracted to him. He can’t help but notice the way Halim’s strong, skilled hands move effortlessly over the fabric, creating beautiful and intricate designs. But Yusuf knows that Halim is married and that their relationship can never be anything more than employer and apprentice. So he tries to suppress his feelings and focus on his work, but it becomes increasingly difficult as his attraction to Halim grows stronger with each passing day. However, Halim is also having sexual connections with the bathhouse’s proprietor and frequents the establishment for causal love-making.  Yusuf’s heart aches with unrequited love as he realizes Halim, his employer, and mentor, will never reciprocate his feelings. In a moment of anger and pain, Yusuf resigns from his position, storming out of the shop feeling betrayed and alone. As Yalim’s health declined, so did the warmth in their marriage. She refused to eat in front of him and spoke to him in a harsh tone. One day, she was struck with intense pain, causing her to scream out in agony. Halim quickly called the doctor, who delivered devastating news. Yalim’s self-imposed starvation had worsened her condition. Halim pleaded for more tests to be done, but the doctor warned that it would only prolong her suffering. Halim was left heartbroken; despite his lack of attraction to his wife due to his sexuality, Halim had always cared for her deeply, and the thought of losing her and running the Kaftan shop alone was frightening. As daunting as it may seem, Halim is left with no other choice but to come to terms with the reality that his beloved wife’s days are numbered. He opts to shut down his Kaftan shop and devote his time to caring for Yalim. With a deep-seated love and profound respect for his wife, Halim goes above and beyond to make her remaining days as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. He tenderly braids and washes her hair, helps her take soothing baths, and prepares her favorite delicacies, the way she likes them. 

‘The Blue Caftan’ Ending

As Yalim’s health deteriorates, Yusuf steps up to offer his support to Halim. He visits the couple frequently, bringing groceries and kind words to lift their spirits. In a touching moment, Yusuf even encourages Halim to finish the beautiful blue caftan he had been working on, providing a sense of normalcy and creativity in the midst of turmoil. As Halim devotes himself to caring for Yalim, he begins to see Yusuf in a new light. Yalim also begins to soften towards the young apprentice, apologizing for her earlier suspicions and forming a tender bond with him.  As Yalim’s health continues to decline, Halim’s heart becomes heavier with guilt and shame. He finally finds the courage to reveal his true sexuality to his wife, knowing that he has suppressed it for far too long. In a teary confession, Halim admits that he feels like he has trapped Yalim by not giving her the love and affection she deserves. But to his surprise, Yalim’s response is one of understanding and acceptance. She sees through her husband’s pain and recognizes the love and care he has given her throughout their marriage. Despite the challenges they face due to their lack of intimacy, Yalim prides herself on being Halim’s wife, embracing him for who he truly is. Unfortunately, Yalim passed away peacefully in her sleep. Yusuf stands by Halim’s side as they both mourn the loss of Yalim. Halim’s heart aches with the knowledge that he could never fully give himself to his wife, but he finds comfort in the fact that she knew the truth and accepted him for who he is. In her final moments, Yalim’s words of acceptance echo in Halim’s mind, encouraging him to live his truth and love again. With a heavy heart, Halim prepares his beloved wife for her final journey, adorning her body in the stunning blue kaftan he had labored over. Together, Halim and Yusuf carry Yalim’s body to the peaceful resting place, where she will forever rest in the embrace of the blue caftan, a symbol of the love and care that her husband had for her until her final breath. For Halim, no one is more deserving of the blue caftan than his beautiful wife, Yalin.  

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I’ve been following your articles for a while now, and this one might your own “Blue Caftan.” The way you shed light on Halim’s sexuality is just amazing, and your concluding statement ” For Halim, no one is more deserving of the blue caftan than his beautiful wife, Yalin,” believe it or not sums up the entire movie. Keep up the good work!!