A Separation Reviews
Payman Maadi (Nader) and Leila Hatami (Simin) are a couple going through a divorce after 14 years of marriage. While the reasons could be complicated and ambiguous, it is taking a toll on their teenage daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) and Nader's father who is suffering from Alzheimer's and requires constant care and attention. When he employs Razieh (Sareh Bayat) for household work, an incident triggers aggression from Nader who unconsciously acts rude to Razieh. Nader's life crumbles into further shambles when Razieh's family accuses and lodges a case on him for murder as she has suffered a miscarriage. When Razieh's husband Hojjat (Shahab Hosseini), an unemployed, depressed and debt ridden man takes matters to his hand, things turn ugly.
The beauty of it is the realistic approach taken in every frame resisting the temptations of being sensational. The screenplay was so exhilarating pushing the boundaries of such a simple premise into heart-pounding suspense. The ideology, the general mindset and day-to-day life in Iran was quite informative and fulfills your food for curiosity. Coming to performances, it is near perfect with none tampering into each other's space and doing the best in their zone. A special mention should go to the sweet little girl who plays Razieh's daughter as she conveys a lot through her big expressive eyes and hardly uttering a word. While the divorce story as advertised plays a poignant role, it mostly takes a backseat during the tense drama.
Some scenes that were informative or packs an impact
> When Razieh calls a religious helpline to check if she could change a helpless old man's pants
> Razieh's daughter's eyes conveying and covering the facade of ugly spats
> When Teremeh confronts Nader if he lied
> Climax tussle between Razieh and Hojjat
> Nader's unflinching love and support for his father
So simple a premise envelopes such a complex plot
Watched this on 7/11/15
Extremely well acted, morally intense, well written and moreover, set on a simple and realistic story, A Separation is constantly engaging and also depicted with much depth and realism. Till the very end it builds suspense without actually letting the audience feel that it is doing the same. Still I do feel that the closing scene is a cliche, but one that the Academy, the critics and other awards and films festivals mostly appreciate.