About Elly Reviews

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½ August 21, 2015
WOW! If Iranian cinema has films like this to offer, I've really been missing out! A total modern-day homage to Michelangelo Antonioni!
August 16, 2015
Magnificent script writing and acting.
August 9, 2015
Best part of the film: the waves at the beach. Which in a way symbolize the entire story. What I did not like was the end, we never knew if it really was her at the morgue, or what was up with the boyfriend and many other things. Then again, maybe that was the beauty of the film, it kept you guessing and did not give you away its secrets, even in the end.
August 2, 2015
Beautiful script fabulous theme and as usual another master piece
½ January 24, 2012
Ahmad: A bitter ending is better than an endless bitterness.

Asghar Farhadi es un director que toma premisas convencionales, y logra entregar relatos llenos de suspenso y decisiones difíciles. En About Elly, un grupo de amigos deciden alquilar una casa en la playa. Sepideh es la encargada del viaje, y decide invitar a Elly, la profesora de uno de sus hijos. Su intención es emparejarla con Ahmad, uno de sus amigos quien se acaba de divorciar. La situación es torna incómoda ya que es evidente sus intenciones desde el principio. Elly es una mujer misteriosa, y no estamos claros de quien es, o que esconde. Durante el segundo día del viaje, Elly desaparece. Lo que sucede luego, afectará no sólo el viaje, sino la dinámica del grupo drásticamente.

About Elly es una película que te mantiene al borde del asiento. Es inevitable ponerse en los zapatos de los personajes, ya que es fácil sentirse identificados con ellos, y con las decisiones que toman. La trama no es para nada predecible, y constantemente nos sorprende con nuevos giros dentro de la historia. Asghar Farhadi tiene una facilidad increíble para lograr que el público se sumerja en la historia. No es común ver personajes como este grupo de amigos en el cine. Normalmente jóvenes musulmanes son vistos de manera negativa, y acá son como personas normales y convencionales. Se divierten y se comportan como cualquiera. Siento que es importante presentar este tipo de personajes para dejar atrás los estereotipos.
Las actuaciones son increíblemente realistas. Se siente como si fuéramos testigos de las vidas de estas personajes y como si realmente existieran. Las actuaciones de todos son magistrales y aportan a el realismo de esta película. About Elly es una obra casi perfecta. El final no me dejó totalmente convencida, y la inclusión de su "prometido" fue un poco abrupto, pero también le añade esa cara de el machismo dentro de la sociedad musulmana.
April 3, 2015
Almost if not as compelling as his "A Separation", director Asghar Farhadi proves once again to be a maestro of drama both in direction and writing, and instill the idea that a world is always going on outside the frame of the camera.
July 7, 2015
This movie really draws you in with a mystery then yields all kinds of social and psychological insights about honesty, humanity, group dynamics, trustworthiness, and integrity. It's a also a funny film with some allegorical overtones reminiscent of the films of Luis Bunuel.
July 5, 2015
Visually and emotionally riveting.
July 4, 2015
4 out of 5 stars. Excellent mystery by the writer/director of the Iranian masterpiece, "A Separation." Several of the same actors are in this film & writer/director Asghar Farhadi is now a world class filmmaker in the French New Wave tradition of Chabrol, Rivette & Truffaut.

His nuanced attention to human behavior builds into true works of art which surprise you because the layers of everyday action and routine become very important later in the dramatic structure. His films almost feel like documentaries at first because there is no driving plot, just observation of groups of upper middle class intellectual Iranian people, going about their lives. That in itself is interesting compared with all the anti-Iran propaganda here because he shows how universally relatable his characters are to all humans striving for better lives, education for their children and care for their families.

But you have to pay attention because the smallest details in the beginning become crucial to characters' outcomes later. A small conversation or a glance between two people seems insignificant at first and then suddenly becomes very important in the final resolution.

Always well acted with specifically composed shots, his work is all about careful writing, directing & performance. His craftsmanship is first rate and all the details are important. There are no wasted moments in his films, which are never high budget. Farhadi already has dozens of international awards, an Oscar and Cannes recognition, so he is well established after only 6 feature films.

Definitely worth seeking out his films because they stay with you for years. That unique window into Iranian life is a valuable artistic perspective and his ensemble of actors do such a great job on screen for him. You will replay moments in your head the way Bergman films never leave you once experienced. A filmmaker of the highest order, the cinema world eagerly awaits more great films to come from him and his team.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2015
Sepideh: Now, what does he think about Elly?

It is interesting to go back in time with a director I have only recently found myself so intrigued by in recent years. Academy Award winner Asghar Farhadi had made four other films prior to A Separation and The Past. About Elly is one that somehow got lost in the shuffle as far as getting an American release. Regardless, the film has now arrived and continues to shed light on what a talent Farhadi is in capturing human drama.

The film is something of a mystery set among a group of old friends on a holiday retreat. With the return of a close friend, a group of former college pals decide to reunite for a weekend outing by the Caspian Sea. While things begin in good spirits, complete with an attempt to hook up two individuals, trivial lies start accumulating and things really escalate when a sudden disappearance occurs. This sets in motion a series of deceptions and revelations that threaten to shatter everything.

As I mentioned, this film really continues to prove how adept Farhadi is at developing human drama. That it is not quite as good as A Separation or The Past only suggests that Farhadi has improved only time as a filmmaker, given how good About Elly still is. This is a film that is stripped down of nearly everything, aside from some narrative ambition when it comes to utilizing the location for high tension. What is left are a collection of characters and a screenplay that allows for very natural conversations, arguments, and other relatable interactions.
June 8, 2015
This dreary, tedious collection of cinematic clichés veers from farce to hysteria without for a second ringing true. Edward Albee and Ingmar Bergman did an infinitely better job of progressively revealing the flaws in the character of their protagonists and their marriages. Jerky hand-held photography scarcely merits the acclaim it has received. The open-ended denouement is another tired cinematic device used to better effect in dozens of films. To be sure a fil-maker working against the odds under a harsh political regime deserves top marks for courage but he deserves better than the complete abandonement of critical scrutiny by admiring reviewers.
El Z.
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2015
Yes, I liked it, and I want to support this filmmaker. I went to see it because of The Separation, because of how fantastic that film was. This one is not as good, but still interesting. Lots of dialogue to read. I did not feel the storyline was set up well... i felt confused at times, and this is unusual for me. I kept feeling like there was something I missed.
All this said, it was interesting, and I recommend it.
June 1, 2015
A gripping, culturally allegorical story told with compelling performances and some of the darkest humor on film.
May 22, 2015
"a bitter end is much better than a bitterness without ending"
½ May 8, 2015
A gripping story which leaves you with full of emotion. Asghar Farhadi's unique way of filmmaking and vivid acting from the casts left me speechless again.
A must watch masterpiece.
½ May 16, 2015
He"s brilliant. Loved every film and can't wait for more.
May 15, 2015
Farhadi is a genuine cinematic genius and this is his third film is a row that could arguably be defined a masterpiece. Not since A Separation has a film left me so anxious and emotionally strung out. This is by far the best film I've seen this year.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2015
In "About Elly," a group of friends travel to the seaside during a holiday weekend. They are all married couples and their children with the exceptions of Ahmad(Shahab Hosseini) who has just returned to Iran from Germany and a divorce and Elly(Taraneh Alidoosti) who is one of the children's teachers. So, there is hope that they will become better acquainted. But sadly there is no hope for them to stay at the house they had wanted to since it had been reserved by a wedding party, so they will have to rough it out in an unfurbished house closer to the sea.

"About Elly" teases out a tantalizing mystery. But after that, director Asghar Farhadi does something rather interesting by almost tying the movie into a knot exploring a single procedural point. But considering he has shown a great deal of interest in the Iranian legal system in his other films, I think he is trying to make a point here however subtly through exaggeration about how such minutiae can weigh down everyday life in Iran.
April 9, 2015
As provocative and intense as we've come to expect from Asghar Farhadi, even if it's less polished around the edges.
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