This movie is truly a work of art. I didn't pay much attention to the cinematography since I got caught up in the amazing story. I started seeing the angles pretty soon but that didn't spoil it. You will be swept away by the movie's dark and sad current. The performances are great with no exceptions and the final shot is masterful.
The characters in this film are flawed and 3 dimensional and they all have certain virtues and vices. They're all good people but no one's perfect. What makes "A Separation" a masterpiece is how Frahadi brilliantly shows that a single institution (whether it be legal or religious) is incapable of incorporating all points of view in a time of conflict; even if everyone is righteous in their own bubble of subjectivity.
Complex, a real insight into what I assume is a Sharia Court. How quickly the situation descends as the lack of understanding amongst all parties escalates. In the end of course the daughter is the real loser in all this. Ironic of course as she is the only one left with a 'choice'.
The movie works in several layers. It could be seen as a commentary on the everyday living of the Iranians, but the movie also could be understood as a metaphoric story about the fate of a country: The dad is its past, the daughter is its future. Other characters represent different layers of the Iranian society. The movie is a very successful narration of this mixture of realism and metaphors.
By using mundane conflicts as background it appears to deal with moral behavior in nowadays Iran. I got the impression that some social classes dynamics was applied as well. The narrative and the shooting was carried in a sober form loaded with tension and anxiety.
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.