158 of 1001 Movies: A Separation (2011)

Asghar Farhadi has been hitting up the festivals with his new film, The Past, which as A Separation does, explores the divorce proceeding and domestic roles in Iran’s culture. It seems to be a common theme for Farhadi, but one that he is really good at exploring. A Separation is not a light film by any means, and he does something that rarely a director is able to accomplish, and that is make everyone someone you can feel for and also find fault in. Everyone in A Separation has their own set of problems that heavily drive where they end up. It’s just a beautifully done film, and one I can’t stop thinking about.

Summary: Nader and Simin are seeking to divorce one another after finding the other is not going to budge on staying or leaving Iran. Simin wants to leave, believing that another country will bring her daughter a better opportunities. Nader has a sick father that he is caring for, and doesn’t want to abandon to leave Iran. The judge though does not believe that either has a good reasoning for wanting the divorce. Simin moves out though, and this leaves Nader seeking someone to care for him while he is at work. The woman he finds though will bring more problems and stresses onto the family though.

Acting: What’s beautiful about the movie is the passionate acting. Peyman Moaadi is Nader, and despite his flaws he comes off as a very likable guy though. He seems to really try to empower his daughter, which explains their closeness, and he just seems to be trying to balance loyalty and his family. I understand why his wife, Simin, is frustrated with him though. There is a lack of emotions in between the two, and it seems that all she wants to know is that he still feels for her as she does for him. Instead, Nader seems to have this routine expectation of him and her being together, which isn’t enough anymore. Leila Hatami balances her portrayal of Simin very well too. She never gets too dramatic, but knows how to express enough emotion to convey her frustration.

Filming:  I like the texture of the film a lot, and the movie is shot in such a way that you feel you apart of the action happening in the movie. With the way we move in and out of the characters lives we feel we are living through their anxieties and worries. I also think the contrasting look at how their is diversity in how people live in Iran is interesting as well. Nader hires a much more traditional Muslim family than his, so these two cultures definitely show some stark differences.

Plot: The plot centers on a subject that really can translate to many people especially since no matter the culture you live in divorce is hugely acquainted with most people. I also think as an American we are very uninformed about countries like Iran, and we choose to be out of our choices to prefer to make a stereotypical easier for our view of humanity. This movie not only got me involved with the characters, but it also informed about the justice system there, and how they go about their own laws. It also shows what families there value, and certain problems of their own they have to deal with.

A Separation is a well pieced together movie that has characters that fully move the movie. By the end it does feel we have over stayed our welcome a tad, but it fully lets the movie play out. The soundtrack also does a great, but simple job of allowing this movie to flow. There are feelings and thoughts still settling in about this even after watching.

Rating 9 of 10.

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