About Elly - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

About Elly Reviews

Page 1 of 11
November 17, 2017
All three sections of the film - the carefree start of a weekend, the dramatic tragedy at the core of the film and the long section in which the friends fall out, argue and agonise about the consequences are superbly handled. The hand-held camerawork and the marshalling of the actors in complex, naturalistic scenes are excellent. Top-notch acting all round with every emotion ringing true. And at the end there remains a lingering sense that we still don't know the whole truth.
½ August 18, 2017
With excellent camerawork that makes you feel like you are right there, as well as fantastic performances from the cast, 'About Elly' is the story of how a sudden tragedy takes its toll on a group of close friends as lies are exposed and characters questioned. With intriguing commentary on social issues and moral conduct, Farhadi manages to create a compelling story out of a very simple premise, but it must be said that it isn't quite as polished as some of his later works such as the outstanding 'A Separation' and 'The Past'.
August 15, 2017
This film has great value in terms of learning about cultural differences, because it would make little sense in any setting other than modern Iran. The film is beautifully constructed and very well acted, but it is clearly one to think about, rather than sit and enjoy. In fact it is quite hard to do much of the latter, since the characters, trapped by a repressive gender morality that leaves very little room for experimentation, end up behaving with so little common sense - whether they are ineptly looking after children, swimming in the sea with full clothes, trying to arrange a marriage between people who have never met and who they hardly know, or lying about everything.
August 14, 2017
This is truly fine film- strong writing, direction, cinematography and certainly the performances. This is true realism on the screen; as realistic as film can be expected to be. From the social rules of Iran to the seemingly harmless act of bringing along the unwed character in hopes of sparking new romance, Farhadi and the actors breathe life into the story and the setting does so much to set the mood. A lovely and seemingly delightful spot for a vacation that also has the allure of the beautiful but very dangerous sea. Those criticizing the film again and again complain about the pacing and length of the film, as if life itself is just one action after another with no long, quite moments, lengthy conversations or arguments, or games played out between children or adults. To think such a storyline and the ideas of the writer/director about the inherent dangers of lies, deception, or half-truths could be played out competently and convincingly in a neat, tidy little 90 minute bow. For those, stick to the most generic, meatheaded, predictable 80-90 min. schlock 'thriller's/action films/comedies out there so you don't hurt your little brains or so your short attention spans don't get stretched out to far and snap back to hit you in your figurative face.
July 15, 2017
My second Iranian film and each movie made me love more about their movies. When i thought Separation was top notch, this is beyond that. Acting is par excellence. Director succeeds in filling the minor details which many directors often ignore.
May 26, 2017
Don't bother. The lies the characters say are just dumb.
May 24, 2017
Apparently no one does plots quite like Farhadi. He handles the chaos beautifully, and keeps the complex web of character interaction interesting and believable throughout. My only problem was probably a cultural one, wherein every few minutes I'd stop and think how ridiculous it is that so much angst and subterfuge is occurring over such a minor transgression, and then I'd have to remind myself that in a place like Iran it's not so minor. There were a few times where I thought, "Why the fuck would you lie about that?!" In that sense it was hard to commit fully to the tension, though I think Farhadi comes as close in his direction as anybody could have.
February 19, 2017
A group of friends go to the shore for a long weekend. One of them brings her friend Elly with the intention of introducing her to their divorced friend. About halfway through the weekend, she disappears. There's reason to believe that she may have left without telling anyone, but there's also reason to believe that she may have drowned. As the remaining folks look for her, and further consequences of her disappearance are revealed, cracks in the relationships are revealed and deepen. As with "A Separation", Farhadi takes a genre procedural plot and turns it into a drama about the morality and consequences of our decisions.
January 21, 2017
Asghar Farhadi shows long before Separation how to weave a taut thriller out of our everyday lives. Iranian Cinema marches on !!!
½ December 19, 2016
I really enjoyed this thriller from the Oscar winning director of "A Separation". Set in Iran, it focuses on a groups of friends getting together when a tragedy/mystery happens. The less you know going in, the better. Actress Golshifteh Farahani gives a great performance. This film is a must watch!
½ December 14, 2016
A gritty little number from Iran. Invite along a stranger to your beach party and then agonise when she goes missing. Did she run away or did she drown? Things get tricky. Lovely insight into modern Iran, and human frailty too.
December 4, 2016
Pretty good movie. Brilliant plot and dialogue. Good acting also. I just thought it was a bit confusing. Since everyone was talking over each other for most of the movie, it was hard to differentiate the characters. It was well-crafted though. I'll have to give it another watch to fully understand it.
November 25, 2016
****SPOILER**** The twist is that there's no ending.
September 29, 2016
This movie is terribly boring and slowly paced. Why does it get such rave reviews? I just do not understand.
½ September 27, 2016
unbelievably boring and completely useless in every way.


one of the most straight-forward stories i've ever watched. everything about this "mystery" was irrelevant. she drowned, which everyone originally thought. smh (1 viewing)
September 16, 2016
So good. Beautifully filmed. Limited dialogue but really exciting story. This was a nice peek into Iranian culture. I really enjoyed it.
September 1, 2016
This flick preview was alot of hype. Dissapointing to see the lack of womens rights in this movie. The women have to ask permission for everything and at one point one of the husbands abuse his wife. All the women wear those constricting hijabs. The actual point of the movie is about finding the missing girl, but there is no logic to the choices made by the group of charactersand there is no twist in the plot that a viewer might hope for.
August 25, 2016
A gripping saga of a holiday gone wrong. Though this film is significantly dark in comparison, many aspects of it reminded me of 'Dil Chahta Hai'. Brilliant acting by the entire cast, and kudos to the director for keeping the plot tight from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
July 7, 2016
After all, it is the dishonesty among us that remains BOLD. Masterpiece
½ July 3, 2016
What appear to be a happy-go-lucky reunion of group of university friends during a weekend outing to a beach house turned out to be a tragic weekend for despicable group with a predilection for lying. Their first evening ends with a game of charades. Hmm.... charades. Soon a slow lie-fest developed: lies that grew pervasive and had deeper consequences as the plot unfolded. At first the lies verged on being the innocent white-lies that we would tend to discount because we all do it, but it became appearance that misrepresentation, withholding and deceit were the currencies at work. Sepideh lied to her male friend Ahmad that Elly was available but knew she was engaged. Elly lied to her fiancÚ about details of her trip and told a different lie to her mother. Sepideh organized the beach house rental but lied to the group knowing the house wasn't available and proceeded with the group plan hoping to use her skills to deceive and lie would allow her to talk her way into delivering a last minute solution. In order to rent a completely broken down dive of a beach house at their arrival, Sepideh lied to the care taker of the beach house that Elly and Ahmad were newlyweds, of course, without their knowledge of the deception. One child nearly drowns - then Elly is found to have gone missing shortly afterwards. At this juncture the film morphs from a drama into a mystery. Once the searching is over for Elly they call family. True to form, after multiple hang-ups by two of them, they agree to finally stay on the phone line with her mother and dig for information about Elly and lie to her. Next, they call her fiancÚ and tell a big lie to him. They COACHED their children on what to lie or act dumb about toward the soon to arrive fiancÚ. He arrived at the beach house very distraught, while inside the group was VOTING on whether or not to lie to him about everything regarding Elly or to pick and choose by telling the truth about some things and to lie about others. Under the pressure of the situation the characters were unable to ensure the growing mess their lies had created. Brilliantly acted, the husbands and wives broke down into defensive tirades, self-pity burst forth, fingers were pointed, and accusations shrieked as lies were revealed, their consequences contemplated and people tried wiggling out of responsibility. In stark contrast to Sepideh, her mature and level headed husband was shocked, very frustrated and angry about her lies and where they had led. This group lied to get what they wanted, they lied to avoid conflict, they lied to save face, they lied to avoid punishment, and they lied to protect others from their own reactions. They lied because it gave them power and they lied because they were cowards. In the end their lies didn't yield what they wanted; instead, they had a horrible holiday, they never knew with certainty what happened to Elly and they were left feeling disappointed and suspicious. Entertaining, thoughtful and anxiety provoking.
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