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Nader (Payman Maadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami) argue about living abroad. Simin prefers to live abroad to provide better opportunities for their only daughter, Termeh. However, Nader refuses to go because he thinks he must stay in Iran and take care of his father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi), who suffers from Alzheimers. However, Simin is determined to get a divorce and leave the country with her daughter. Written by
Wow! I didn't have any expectation and that's what probably helped but A SEPARATION is a great drama. Foreign language film or not, this is just an excellent, excellent drama. You can't get a more Oscar worthy material than this. To me what makes A SEPARATION unique is that writer/director Asghar Farhadi takes conflict, secrets, relationships and other elements that we're familiar with and mixes them with the culture, religion and gender elements from that specific region. This film, to a certain extent, lets you in on how the justice system works in a place where some of us may be ignorant about. And it's really not about our way is better than theirs or vice versa, it's just how different some things are done
And this is not just about a divorce or a separation of two individuals The film starts out that way and it ends on that note as well but what happens in between is more of a spin-off story or it stems from when the lead characters Nader and Simin stop being on the same page. A SEPARATION is a very dialogue-driven, a very character driven story, all the actors in this film are marvelous. When the tension is high, they're extremely convincing, I couldn't take my eyes off any of them, especially lead actress Leila Hatami who holds a certain photogenic beauty.
On one spectrum, you have Nader and Simin with their daughter, on the other end of the spectrum you have Hodjat and Razieh with their little adorable daughter. Because Simin takes time off from her marriage with the intent to divorce her husband, Nader has to hire Razieh to take care of his father who suffers from Alzheimer's. An incident occurs that escalates into a courtroom drama but there is actually another incident or a card that Asghar Farhadi hides until it's time to show it further on in the story and the way everything progresses and eventually unravels keeps you intrigued. A big part of what draws me in is the film's depiction of Iranian law and traditions when it comes to divorces and allegations. What may be considered murder, how important it is for an individual to see someone swear on a Koran, how a judge deals with opposing alibis. I don't know how accurate it is but it's nothing short of interesting. It would certainly cause debate and discussion among the audiences as to the fairness of it all. And the story goes through those problems and makes a full round circle back to the separation of Simin from Nader. A highly engrossing film.
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