Movie Review – A Separation

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May 15, 2012 by Mithil

It’s a story depicting a family in turmoil following a bitter divorce between the couple. Simin played by Leila Hatami is a worried mother who declares her willingness to move to a new country where she thinks she’ll have better prospects for living and most fundamentally a better future for her 11yr old girl child Termeh played by Sarina Farhadi. Her husband Nader acted by Peyman Moadi however is unyielding, not eager to abandon his ailing and bed ridden father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi). As the relentless but devoted wife part ways with her husband, he hires a maid to heed the deteriorating health of his father when he is off to work. The vulnerable maid (Sareh Bayat) is pregnant and is married to a ill-tempered, egoistical, laid off individual (Shahab Hosseini) who she fears would not like her ‘daily chores’. As the story transpires intersecting the two families, one observes the conflicts between and within families influencing everyone around it.

I developed knowledge about the movie when I was watching the Annual Academy Awards 2012 and the ravishing Sandra Bullock graced the stage bestowing the Best Foreign Movie award upon Asghar Farhadi, director Of ‘Jodaeiye Nader az Simin’ or ‘ A Separation’. This is my 2nd Iranian movie after the innocent and enlightening ‘Children Of Heaven’. Although watching just 2 movies doesn’t qualify me anything close to an Iranian movie expert, I do feel their movies are more ingrained to their own tradition and cultures.

It starts with an engaging scene, couple sitting before a judge with grimace expression and grumbling about their soon to be ex-spouse. This dramatic scene summarises the whole movie that it’s about real performances and flawless acting. It doesn’t affect me if the individual performances are greater than the story, instead often relish such movies. No I am not implying that story is ordinary, it’s not, it’s just that the acting overpowers the story. Accolades to the director for being able to convey such intricate characters to his actors and much kudos to them also. The excitement never dips as you would expect, it replicates till the last shot before it gets dark and credits roll out.

For me the
pick among such gritty performances is Peyman Moadi. Such was his hold on to his character, his calm, family possessiveness; his ego was well acted in making Nader the man to watch. Leila Hatami complemented her on screen spouse well enough. Sarina Farhadi acted superbly as a child torn between his parents and does incredible job on the last scene. Sareh Bayat playes the anxious and perplexed woman to perfection while Shahab Hosseini is the spice to the story, enhancing the already flavoured.

A must watch if you can endure reading subtitles.

Image : IMDB

This post has been selected as guest post in HeadinVice for IMDB Top 250 Films Reviewed

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