English Title: A Separation
Original Title: Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
Director/Writer: Asghar Farhadi
Music: Sattar Oraki
Cinematography: Mahmoud Kalari
This film marks my first time steps into Iranian territory since TURTLES CAN FLY (2004), this victory of Academy Awards’ BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR is a brilliant masterpiece, which thoroughly dissects a present-day moral tale in Tehran homing in a contentious accidental miscarriage revolving about two different families (the middle-class one and the underprivileged one), director Asghar Farhadi masterfully exploits the hand-held camera at its best-posed intimacy to conquer an immensely diligent script, which is sheer creme de la creme and ardently scales the heights of the most intimidating but convincing storytelling which is the best a film could bring about to its audience as an art media.
Sparking from a quotidian calamity, the film is confidently yet subtly probing its chain reactions about familial dysfunction, religion displacement, moral integrity, marital coordination, parental education, nursing for senior citizens, etc. And the hidden truth has been incubating soundly and the sympathy is ample towards both sides and for myself the most appalling epiphany is the religious curse on the underclass mass, which ruthlessly turning the tables while the well-off citizen (for instance, the tutor) could blatantly testify an uncertain assertion under the oath of Quran, even shamelessly deny her cunning attempt to glean information by inducing a 4-year-older. Furthermore strikingly yet expectedly, the most severe collateral damage has been put upon the two children, the most innocent onlookers of the dispute, the final staring between the two girls are hauntingly disturbing, there palpable wounds which will never heal planting inside both two’s memories.
Mostly enclosed settings (inside the bourgeois couple’s apartment, their cars, the maid’s low-end shack, his husband’s cobbler’s house, the classrooms, police office and hospital) and an almost score-free deployment (which I hardly noticed until the ending), the vortex of seeking for the justice is tormenting everyone who are directly or indirectly embroiled in. As an inward-delving essay, it is compelling from A to Z and leaves an unanswered question which literally does not need one since its irrelevant at all after the separation evolves into a bona-fide divorce.
All the major characters are potently organized and three of its four (Maadi, Bayat and Hosseini) all finish inside my top 10 performances of the year (sorry Hatami, rounding just outside the top tier), also the youngsters are tremendously great under their more compassion-arousing suits. The film presently is my silver medalist and Farhadi champions the BEST DIRECTOR stature in year 2011. So everything considered, the film has a sure fire to survive through the test of time of vindicating its niche in the masterpiece rank, which is my very sanguine appraisal.
PS: who’s taken the money?