Naders refusal to allow his wife Simin and their daughter leave Iran on account of his father’s failing health initiates a complicated series of events as Simin tries unsuccessfully to divorce him. So he hires a young woman named Razieh to look after his father, but things go wrong.
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The hype is well-deserved. To really understand the topical social relevance of this film, one must first watch Dariush Mehrjui's 1996 film, Leila, which also stars the lovely Leila Hatami. The place of the wife in the Iranian middle-class families has changed drastically in the last 15 years, and Hatami's striking physical maturation over the same period embodies this transformation.
A pervasively confrontational, deeply intricate film about integrity filtered through family and the law. Farhadi's characters often address the camera directly as they plead their cases, seemingly in an attempt to win the audience as well as the judges. It works, too. No one here is unsympathetic, no one here is perfect, and the complexities religion and financial insecurity bring to the table are crushingly real.
A Separation is constructed around a simple narrative that becomes immensely complex as the film progresses. This is a very emotional, reserved movie propelled by extraordinary acting. Asghar Farhadi is a genius.
Despite its veneer of being a rather simplistic film about marital breakdown, its strength lies in the deceptively tight classical formality; the disquietening echoes it skilfully insinuates between the two (seemingly disparate) couples and the ways in which people manipulate each other raises it far above the level of a standard domestic strife/tug-of-love melodrama. A masterpiece that demands repeated viewings.
Glass panels and doors visually imply the empty spaces created by communication barriers as ongoing rifts lead to further isolation. Everything about the inner suffering of a child listening to fighting parents is expressed in the girls' solemn looks at each other in the penultimate scene, looks that say "I know, I get it, I get you".
One of the more welcome ironies of Farhadi's finely wrought film is how, even as it expertly, if over-schematically, delineates a wide spectrum of separations -- marital, economic, political, religious, ethical, cognitive, and so on -- it has served, through the universality of its themes and the emotional immediacy of its central relationships, as a cultural bridge between countries caught up in mutual suspicion.
Films like this are golden to me. I am gripped on the every moment, the very word, action, facial expression. the narrative is not particularly quick but the skill with which it unfolds is mesmerizing. this film instantly goes into my favourites. laila hatami is brilliant in this film, part binoche and part huppert. The best work of Iranian cinema i have yet seen. acted, written and presented to the end of perfect.
Extraordinarily gripping Iranian drama follows the aftermath of a man and wife's separation, as the man hires a woman to take care of his aged father, only to have her accuse him of causing her miscarriage after he accuses her of stealing. Examines ideals of justice in a world colored in shades of gray. Powerful performances across the board and a knockout script deliver an intense & thought provoking film.