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*** 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.