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This film won the best foreign language film for the Golden Globes. It blows just about everything this season out of the water. Don't, don't miss it. For all the hate-filled rhetoric spewed about Iran, this film should show the world, like so many other Iranian films, what brilliant artistry exists in this nation, what sensitive beautiful people Iranians are. Iranian actors have been honed and trained since the 1970's when the modern era of Iranian film began. The principal actors: Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat, and Sarina Farhadi (the director's own daughter) are superb. From the first moments of the film you believe them and the truth of their existence. The stark intimacy of the film is stunning. The complicated plot is gripping and holds one's attention to the very end. It will also be fresh and novel for non-Iranian audiences. It is true in every instance to Iranian society and cultural life. Watch it and learn why American politicians have been misleading Americans about Iranian life.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like About....... Elly, which won Farhadi the best director award at
Berlin two years ago and which went on to find release in many
territories, it has the potential to engage Western audiences with the
right handling. The movie is centered on a couple, Nader and Simin, and
their 11-year old daughter, Termeh. Nader and Simin are about to leave
the country for good; however, Nader has a change of heart and decides
to stay and look after his father who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
Simin is determined to get a divorce and leave the country with her
daughter, but the court does not find in her favor. Simin goes to live
with her mother and Termeh return Politics are ostensibly out of the
picture, though the whole premise is based on a middle-class couple's
divorce because the wife Simin (Iranian star Leila Hatami) wants to
move abroad to find a better future for their 11-year-old daughter
Termeh (Sarina Farhadi). But that may not be the real reason for the
Nader (Peyman Moaadi, seen in About Elly) is a decent man but a stubborn one, and he neglects his wife. Too proud to ask her to stay with him, he lets her move back to her mother's place while he and Termeh are left to look after his aged father with Alzheimer's disease. He hastily hires a poor woman named Razieh (Sareh Bayat) as a daytime caretaker, who signs on without telling him she's pregnant (or does she?). A few days later he fires her and shoves her out the door; she falls on the stairs (perhaps) and has a miscarriage. The rest of the film is a crescendo of tension as Razieh's hot-headed, debt-ridden husband Hodjat (Shahab Hosseini) takes Nader to court for manslaughter. While the intricate screenplay ratchets up tension as it raises the stakes for its characters from scene to scene, its reliance on contrivance might irritate some viewers. Indeed, the conceit of Nader and Simin's separation occasionally appears as a petty battle of wills, something that undermines the weight of other events.
after 30 min , new details are added that changes the moral perspective. Rather remarkably, Farhadi's screenplay doesn't take sides with any of the characters; on the contrary, everyone seems equally right and wrong at the same time. They are all caught in a web of pride and ego, morality and religion, money and honor.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this movie from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, here in Brazil,
and what a great movie, very well done. I never imagine that it would
be better than About Elly another great movie from Farhadi.
the film is simply stunning. Asghar Farhadi shows several problems beasts who bear in this new modern world with a simple divorce that will bring thousands of problems to the family of the film. It shows us how we make mistakes and lies with so shamelessly, and throw it in your face acting as a criticism.
The director take us with the family of the movie to a lot of problems and he will try to solves it, but it seems there is no solutions. So a dramatic end comes. I can't imagine how Farhadi directed this movie. It was a visceral directing, but how a director from the east side of the world are not indicate to Best Achievement in Directing, we can't talk about Academmy Awards. Just about Best Foreign Movie, and I put my gun in Oscar's face saying: "This movie was the Best Foreign Movie of 2011, if you don't give him the award I just shot on your eye." But taking out the pessimism, I think that is 100% of chance to the movie "A Separation" be one of the movies that will compete for BEST FOREIGN MOVIE in Oscar.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Beneath the opening credits, a photocopier copies IDs, one after
We open to a courtroom. A beautiful married couple, Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moadi) have obtained coveted visas to leave Iran for the United States, where Simin hopes to offer a better future to their 11-year-old daughter, Termeh (the director's daughter, Sarina Farhadi). Simin has red hair and determined eyes; Nader has an honest face. They address the camera as if we are the judge.
"You don't have good reasons for a divorce." Their hard-won visa expires in a month or two; Nader will not leave, Simin must, with Termeh. The problem, Nader is devoted to his father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi), who has Alzheimer disease and is totally dependent on his son and his family. And so the couple embark on a trial separation.
An upper middle-class household, a stable home, parents who value education and security for their daughter perhaps above all.
Simi has found a caretaker, Razieh (Sareh Bayat), a pregnant, deeply religious woman with a young daughter who takes the job unbeknownst to her husband (Shahab Hosseini), an out-of-work cobbler. A devout woman with a young daughter (Kimia Hosseini), to mind his father while he is at work.
Negotiations - she lives far away, the pay is not good, her husband does not know. The first day, grandpa pees his pants. Modesty. Razieh asks him to clean himself up; he can only ask for Simin. She makes a call to her imam for religious advice. She can clean the old man. Her daughter watches through frosted glass, ever curious.
In the meantime, Nader teaches his daughter to be assertive, first with the gas station attendant.
The caretaker quits. It's heavy work for a pregnant woman and a little girl. We know she's pregnant, but does Nader? It's a big problem. Who else? Razieh comes back. My husband. He cannot know you hired me. But maybe he can come.
Here begins the disaster. Class war. Breakdown of families and society.
The two daughters are at the heart of the story.
Truth, guilt, the bitter disappointment of a child in her parents.
Tense and narratively complex, formally dense and morally challenging, flawlessly crafted, brilliantly performed and intimately photographed, A Separation premiered at Berlinale, where it won the Golden Bear for Best Film as well as the top prizes for Best Actor and Actress for its male and female ensembles.
"The idea for the film came to when I was sitting in the kitchen of my friend's flat in Berlin nearly one year ago. I was here preparing another film, but I decided to do this one instead. I was smoking a cigarette in the kitchen, listening to some Iranian music and then I decided to make it. The film is influenced by my personal experiences and the situation in Iran and also some abstract pictures I had in my mind. It was like a puzzle. The story was in my mind for some time but when I decided to make it it happened quickly." - Farhadi
It began with picture of a man with Alzheimer's.
"I found the button and made a suit."
Do not miss this movie.
Gripping, tense, heartfelt, powerful, painful, and stirring, Asghar
Farhadi's A SEPARATION is an intense drama that captivates like a
thriller by boasting astounding performances and a truly compelling
narrative arc. It is an Iranian film that centers on intimate domestic
issues in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances - a purely
humanistic narrative that gets better and better as it progresses,
building upon layer after layer after layer of dense situations in
which these poor characters are helplessly engulfed within. In creating
a plethora of deep emotions that are carried out honestly and never
over-the-top by the ensemble's pitch-perfect performances, Farhadi
manages to weave together multiple angles that are both morally complex
and excruciatingly truthful into each and every one of his primary
characters (all of whom exist in the middle-to-lower class) . The plot
is patiently set up with its pieces slowly establishing in place in the
first few scenes before snaring the audience into a wonderfully played
123-minute thrill ride that places viewers right beside its characters
- a feat that is executed through its seemingly naturally-crafted hand-
held cinematography in conjunction with genuine acting that rarely
calls attention to itself.
The film never resorts to flashy and glitzy elements to further its story - it absolutely has no need to - and proves that sincerity in all its forms whether it be in writing, acting, or directing, no matter the budget nor technical limitations, can result in work of the highest quality. To put it simply, A SEPARATION is (personally) not only the best film of 2011, but arguably one of the most impressive lower-budgeted dramas (under 1 million dollars) in the past decade.
I think our day to day life has more than enough material for a good
movie. 'A separation' engrosses you into the life of a small Persian
family and shows you what happens there. You get to watch this very
closely and the final result is a superbly simple and beautiful film.
The story is so real, this could have happened anywhere.
There is also another nice movie by the same director - 'About Elly (2009)', but I think I liked this one more.
The movie lingers, makes you think, but its not heavy on your mind, you relish the thinking, it might probably remind you of the events in your own life and what you may have done in those circumstances. In some sense, you actually cherish the fact that well - this is life. There are too many beautiful moments in this film to list, go watch it, satisfaction assured.
"A Separation" is an intense and powerful examination of the eternal
conflict between human emotions, personal convictions and Law, whether
political or religious, and it happens to be I believe- the best film
The movie is set in Iran, in an upper-middle class area, and features a series of unfortunate incidents, all guided by sincere and genuine emotions, but that nonetheless end up judged by the Islamic Law. Written and directed by Ashgar Farhadi, the film is a triumph on the field of intelligence as it never patronizes the viewer by pointing a finger on an obvious 'antagonist'. Ultimately, the victims are not innocent, nor the accusers are wrongdoers, and the only 'responsible' is a Law that fails to take into consideration human feelings.
Still, Law isn't negatively portrayed as it remains true to its obligatory neutrality, a notion hinted in the very first scene of the film. Indeed, the realism and intensity of the dialog, a back and forth verbal fight between a wife and a husband sets in the very first minutes what would be the enthralling tone of the film. The core of the conflict is not unusual in family dramas, it's about a child custody, Simin (Leila Hatami) wants a divorce because her husband Nader (Peyman Moadi) refuse to emigrate in a country that would in her opinion- provide a better education to her daughter Termeh, Sarina Farhadi as a strong-minded adolescent yet the hostage of an inextricable situation, even more ironic because the two parents don't want to divorce.
But Nader gives legitimate reasons to his refusal: he must take care of his father, an old eighty-something man suffering from Alzheimer disease. "But he doesn't know you!" "Yes, but I know him", this brilliant exchange plays like the movie in microcosm; it's all about contradictory opinions guided by legitimate emotions or convictions. When the opening scene ends, those who agree with Simin's arguments understand Nader and vice-versa. If there is ever one, that's the greatest achievement of Farhadi's Oscar-nominated screenplay; still, the force of the script enough couldn't have elevated "A Separation" to such a universal and miraculously unanimous acclaim. The film works as a perfect combination of writing, acting and directing to such an extent that it could have easily been nominated to more than two Oscars without garnering much surprise.
Farhadi's direction is perfect for this kind of narrative as it uses a hand-held camera work in many scenes, as to create the dizzying and uncomfortable effect of documentary-like realism. The film reminds of Cassavetes' naturalistic work in the way it conveys a sort of one-set room intimacy and place the viewer in the unsettling situation of a witness, caught in the middle of a scene, I mean by 'scene' an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation. We just see and watch, and our hearts pound from these displays of aggressiveness, hostility, cries, shouts and thankfully sometimes, love and affection. Farhadi's film is a masterpiece of storytelling on that level, proving that even plain dramas can be as emotionally engaging as thrillers, and the film does it so well that the content can invite any audience to question its own legal system, no more or no less immune from similar issues.
Law has been established by men in order to find the truth within the chaotic succession of facts that can speak for two opposite sides, but the genius of "A Separation" is that it deals with a particular situation where no one is aware of all the facts, even the viewer is left with some hints and clues, and can only assemble them as the movie progresses. Razieh (Sareh Beyat) is a young religious mother hired as a caregiver for Nader's father. She has a miscarriage and pretends it was caused by Nader's brutality. Nader claims he didn't know anything about the pregnancy and was upset because she left his father alone. The domino's effect introduces the peripheral characters as Simin wants to protect Termeh from Razieh's hot tempered full-of-debts husband Hodjat (Shahab Hossein) who vents his anger on the system, and through his scene-stealing performance paints an indirect social commentary on actual Iran.
The film is full of confrontations that are some of the most realistic ever: everything in the dialogs and the acting sounds true and make the whole experience so nerve-wracking that we never know if we're embarrassed to see these lives being destroyed or because the script didn't let us determine which side we're supposed to take. But "A Separation" is beyond these sterile considerations: it's not about sides to take or opinions to make, it's about the innate limits of Law. Law is even incarnated by a decent judge who shows some signs of reason and magnanimousness sometimes, and sometimes can't handle Hodjat's outbursts of anger. In a way, he embodies our position as the powerless observer of a situation that goes out of control because it engages a wide range of emotions, sometimes positive, sometimes negative but always sincere, creative a psychological cocktail about to explode if a resolution doesn't come to appease the nerves.
The resolution, or let's say, the conclusion, is satisfying because it never betrays the film's 'philosophy' and leaves us with the penetrating sensation that we've just watched a miracle, a modest creation whose emotional and intellectual force spoke some uncomfortable truths about human nature and its antagonism with Law's cold realism. And on the surface, it also features an Iran far from the current stereotypes launched by the infamous "Not Without My Daughter", where women aren't all submissive chador-wearers and men macho wife-beaters.
(I feel terrible to pollute this review with these comments because they insult the intelligence of the film, which already takes for granted that 'Iranian are normal people' but regarding the actual and scary political context, I guess it's necessary)
I'll just get to the point,
if you are previewing for something to watch, there is no way you can play the 1st 3 minutes of this film and stop. It hooks you straight in, and for me, I LOVE that in films.
the story is just AMAZING, and the way it's portrayed, the director makes sure you are following behind with EVERY MINUTE OF THE FILM, as it unwinds. the casting is just brilliant, as if they were just born to play this film and then die. they achieve in captivating the emotion of the story VERY well. EVERY SINGLE ACTOR int this film did a great job.
what's even more amazing, it's how low budget this film is (300K us$).
as a conclusion; 3 good things about this film; (1) the story-line, well written and well scripted (2) the cast, well selected, and amazing acting (3) the setting, and the lack of a score! (yes, & it was a great idea!)
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision, to improve the
life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and
look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimers (plot).
First thing iam sure this film will get nominated by the Academy for best foreign language film and i hope Mr.Farhadi won, because he deserved.
Secend thing the film present a very simple story about Nader and Simin have been planning to move to a European country to provide better opportunities, as Simin claims in the court, for their only daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi).
Third thing, Nader refuse to leave his father and Simin need her daughter to go with her, but the problem with the daughter, she want one thing like all the children in the worlds, one house and lovable parents.
Finally, " this film really deserves to be considered as one of the film of the year and i deserves the high rating in IMDb site, "A Separation" was good example of a real-life movie which could help people to revise their ideas about important concepts like responsibility, love and sacrifice.
I have never lived in Iran, so I cannot comment on the accuracy of the film as a portrait of Iranian life. But it certainly convinced me of its authenticity in terms of the problems faced by most ordinary people at lot of the time. I assume that the characters were played by actors, but they never seemed like actors and never intruded their own personalities into the piece. The film raised a number of importance moral questions, without preaching at the viewer and no easy answers were offered. I had one reservation - about an event hidden from the viewer but critical to an understanding of the action. However, apart from this, I thought it was excellent.
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