About Elly - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

About Elly Reviews

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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.
½ July 1, 2016
Tense movie with some amazing insight into group dynamics. The constantly changing interaction due to changing circumstances is so well captured here. Great job by the cast and director with a simple but intriguing story.
June 24, 2016
I do Not see why people think thesis worth watching. too long
June 20, 2016
To make such a luxuriant screenplay from a simple story, showcases the brilliance of writer director Asghar farhadi and this movie is a pure gem with a first class Cast...
May 29, 2016
A wonderful story about a very talented man.
March 25, 2016
Great film, but released in 2009, not 2015.
½ March 8, 2016
One of the best foreign language films of the year.
½ March 6, 2016
A simple and beautiful movie. Moved me emotionally. Its a must watch.
February 14, 2016
I really enjoyed Asghar Farhadi's Oscar-winning film 'A Separation' a few years ago and have wanted to check out other films by him. 'About Elly' is a very well-made film that I enjoyed quite a bit and really kept me wondering what was going on and what was going to happen. I thought the performances were really good as the film felt very real. I did think it may have dragged on just a little (I thought 'A Separation' may have as well), but overall I really enjoyed this film and look forward to the director's future films.
February 13, 2016
Show casing a chaotic and self-absorbed lives of a group of friends on vacation in Shomal (north of Tehran). Iranian cinema can be full of unnecessary drama and arguments! It was hard to follow who was related to who.
February 11, 2016
a slow simmering mystery with an insight into Iranian culture.
January 30, 2016
Fantastic is all i can say, the movie tells the rest.
January 23, 2016
Lies, lies and more lies keep the viewer guessing (and frustrated) as this mystery unfolds.Try to watch it with someone from Iran (or at least discuss it afterward with that person) to gain a fuller understanding of why certain things happen. Artfully created.
January 21, 2016
this fucking guy lol
½ January 8, 2016
This was without a doubt the WORST movie I have ever seen!! AGONIZING to watch and over acted.
½ December 31, 2015
A movie made 5 years ago or so that's only getting a NA release now, About Elly is an interesting addition to Farhadi's filmography that feels like a stepping stone to A Separation and The Past. While not as good as those two great movies, About Elly is still pretty good. It reminded me a little of Picnic at Hanging Rock, in terms of the feeling of mystery it exudes as well as also having a disappearance. Sepideh is a great and very interesting character, the actress really brings her to life.
½ December 27, 2015
Wonderfully cast and well-acted, this superb Iranian film deftly explores how easily a heretofore close-knit social group can be pulled apart by seemingly innocuous fibs and secrets brought to light by a mysterious disappearance.
½ December 23, 2015
Great acting a bit a of mystery make this a film worth watching. Granting this movie an incredible 98% is a bit much for my taste though.
November 11, 2015
I can go and on about Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi, who received global recognition for his 2011 Oscar-winning A Separation. That film absolutely blew me away. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world by Timemagazine in 2012, Farhadi is intricate in his weaving of society's interpersonal conflicts within a seemingly straight-forward story. Playing at Berlin and Tribeca film festivals in 2009, Farhadi's About Elly was lauded by film theorist and historian David Bordwell as "a masterpiece."
The film opens on a light note, with a group of old friends, made up of three couples and their children, traveling from Tehran to the Caspian Sea for a beach getaway. Joining them are Ahmad (Shahab Hosseini) and Elly (Taraneh Alidoosti). Ahmad, an affable Iranian who returns from Germany after a recent split with his wife, is open to the idea of being matchmade with Elly, an elusive but obliging kindergarten teacher of the daughter of Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani), who organized the getaway. Sepideh's secret plan to introduce both of them is welcomed by the rest of the group, but we'll soon find out that it's the least of her string of little white lies which will play a part in the twist of events coming. As Elly fits into the group of friends since their university days, act 1 is a clever intention for us to observe and get to know more about each character as they joke, laugh, break bread and end the day with a game of charades.
About Elly quickly ratchets up suspense in act 2 the next day, as the upbeat mood of their weekend takes a dark turn when Elly suddenly goes missing. Leaving the group helplessly clueless, has she drowned in the angry sea attempting to save a child, or has she abruptly left the place unannounced despite Sepideh's pestering to stay. What appears to be another kitchen sink drama suddenly erupts into panic mode, trampled by series of revelations that challenge the moral core of these characters. These developments ooze varying degrees of mistrust and hostility among the friends, whilst audience is kept anxious coupled with the soundtrack of endless crashing waves so cleverly added to further bring us into the scene.
What's so brilliant about this film is the revelation that the actual whereabouts of the titular character no longer seems important at the end, as we witness how each small lie repeatedly breeds damaging consequences. Whilst a woman's disappearance is on the line, what eventually matters is how each of the character deals with the crisis, broods over each other's surfacing dishonesty and unconsciously depend on them to salvage their own dignity. Farhadi builds an elaborate psychodrama depicting how harmless intentions can culminate into most scourging and life-changing events. Using everyday lives and conversations, his film has an uncomfortable but important message to tell. And along with some of the other films which are in my top list, what I really love is how the film lets audience decipher the clues and make our own conclusions. All the characters' performances are on point, especially Golshifteh Farahani. Even the children are invested in the emotional roller-coaster, making this film another testament of Farhadi's excellent filmmaking.
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