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Directed by multi-award winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, 'Beautiful City' is a cinematic gem not to be missed. Akbar has just turned eighteen. He has been held in a rehabilitation centre ... See full summary »
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
I'm an Iranian, but I've never been interested in Iranian cinema. I only watch Iranian films when they win awards or receive international recognition. I'm a fan of Kiarostami and Majidi, but I can't really say that I like all of their films. I watched Farhady's previous film (About Elly) about a year ago, and the first thing which struck me was how culturally detached the movie was in its depiction of an event. At the time, I believed this to have been the cause of this director's success. Watching Nader and Simin, however, proved that I was terribly mistaken.
Asghar Farhady's obsession with the concept of judgment is once again the driving force behind his latest feature. The life-like depiction of the Iranian courtroom (which is in no way impartial) places the audience in the Judge's seat from the very beginning. The extremely believable acting and insanely complex script compel the viewer to make up his/her mind just like when reading a court case. As for the screenplay, I'm almost certain the events in this film actually happened in real life, because in no way could one fabricate such a chaotically complex series of events, so beautifully woven into a coherent whole.
Despite being very Iranian in its narrative style and its depiction of Iranian culture (the sanctity of Family, faith, commitment towards parents and married life), I believe that this film could easily appeal to the Western audiences just like a film by Inaritu or Haneke (although I'm pretty sure it won't be nominated for an Oscar for political reasons).
After seeing About Elly, I thought Farhady's success was just a one-time fling, but coming out of the theater, having watched Nader and Simin, I was proud to have another Iranian director added to my international list of favorites.
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