Sunday, 22 January 2012

A Separation [2011]

A Separation, despite its seemingly simple storyline, has managed to be quite a few things at once – it is a sensitive portrayal of the breakdown of marriage, a powerful take on what that entails for the couple’s kid, an affecting depiction of the various nuances that define human behaviour, a pointed observation on the utterly relative nature of truth, and a subtle commentary on Iranian society and culture. An upwardly mobile Tehran-based couple had been planning to leave their country for good; but when the husband changes his mind at the last moment in order not to abandon his Alzheimer-afflicted father, the marriage breaks down irrevocably – their sensitive young daughter becomes the only common string the couple is kept hanging by. This is the event that sparks what is to follow – an unanticipated situation of deep crisis that threatens to tear the family apart and destroy the lives of all those concerned. Excellent, naturalistic turns by every member of the cast have helped in creating a tale of severe moral dilemma, not just for the various characters involved, but the viewers as well – there aren’t any good or bad people here, they are all utterly believable and real with all their flaws and shades. By deciding not to be judgemental, but just a neutral chronicler of the proceedings, the director has managed to create an immensely humanistic film with a universalist appeal.

Director: Asghar Farhadi
Genre: Drama/Family Drama/Ensemble Film
Language: Persian
Country: Iran

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