About Elly - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

About Elly Reviews

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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.
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2015
This wonderful film begins as a simple drama that slowly introduces us to the characters and to the details of their vacation together until we are suddenly hit by a devastating tragedy that brings about the bitter consequences of many hidden truths and moral issues.
½ October 28, 2015
A group of Iranian friends vacationing at the Caspian Sea, there's a mystery. Elly has either drowned or left the villa. Based on a few simple lies, this leads up to tragedy between the friends.
October 22, 2015
About Elly is an unbelievably human portrait that mixes convincing characters with realistic internal struggles to create an unforgettable psychological study that makes a profound statement on the nature of guilt on people's decisions.
½ October 15, 2015
A brilliant and very powerful art-house drama and mystery, About Elly is a typical Asghar Farhadi movie. Restrained, but completely captivating, this new gem from the director of A Separation and The Past remains truth to the mesmerizing story-telling of its writer and director.
Down-to-earth and depicting the normal life of Iranian people, this a drama and a mystery based on believes, traditions, social prejudices and human relationships. Even though it is not as captivating as A Separation, About Elly has a certain level of emotional load that differentiates from the previous Farhadi deliveries. Issues of gender politics and moral traditions mixed with attempts for post-modern thinking, sadness and realistic moments of shock which all combined in one story result in a stunningly realistic and touching movie.
It is certainly not a movie to be enjoyed by mainstream audiences, but if you are looking for a quality examples of art-house classics. About Elly is a must see!
October 12, 2015
Wow!! Can't quite understand the hoopla about this film. From the beginning, just dialogue that goes no where, to the end, where it ends where we expected it to end all along. Imagine if you lost your keys, and every family member kept repeating, "Where could your keys be? Are they in your pocket? Oh no, I thought I saw them in the basement!!!" Then here comes the climax. You found your keys where you usually keep them!!! Boring dialogue, and the movie is completely filmed at this beach house, with the characters going in and out of the house jibber jabbering, and then onto the beach, and then back in the house, "Oh, where is Elly!!" Wow, come on. This movie sucked.
October 8, 2015
Retroactively released after the success of A Separation and The Past, About Elly is a simple drama that occurs over one weekend that spirals out of control. A school teacher named Elly is invited to a getaway near a beach, but things quickly escalate when she disappears. Then more secrets and lies get uncovered, and what follows is a tense drama with solid performances. It doesn't have the bite of Farhadi's later movies, but its still a decent watch for a minimalist drama with lots of insight into that culture.
½ October 6, 2015
I thought A SEPARATION was one of the best films of its given year. I understand ABOUT ELLY came before that film but just released this year and I can easily say this new film from Asghar Farhadi is one of the year's best. It starts off as a drama about a group of friends on vacation and ends up being a dark mystery where nothing is what it seems. All the characters are suspicious and you have no idea who to trust. Farhadi is great at developing his characters slowly in the beginning, setting everything up, so when the real plot kicks in, we too are able to judge them because we feel we have known them the same amount of time as those on screen.

Grade: A
September 27, 2015
Average at best, I don't see why this movie has so much hype. 1/4
½ September 21, 2015
A good Iranian drama although the personalities seem to be somewhat interchangeable. The direction is rough in spots. Segues a bit confusing. All-in-all a good to watch flick that reveals much about the Iranian culture which is good compensation for any short-falling.
September 19, 2015
Watch only if your copy has good English translation. The takeaway is a glimpse of modern Iran: it's both conservative (the sacredness of marriage, unmarried couples don't go on trips together) and the dark side of it (domestic abuse). At the same time, the characters seemed normal, have access to cellphones, women drive cars and seem cheerful and content, at least in the First Act of the film. Unfortunately, we got a poorly translated copy in that one of the characters, visibly very upset, was offered a "sedative" in which the upset character said "toilet". At least, my Baes and I have a new inside joke. ??
½ September 19, 2015
For sheer cunning in scriptwriting, About Elly aces! As with the highly-lauded A Separation, Iranian maestro Asghar Farhadi is at the peak of his powers with this chilling twisty-turny thriller that examines (with scalpel-precision) the devastating consequences of lies. Though it starts off deceptively-perky (though peppered with nuanced foreshadowing), Elly starts plunging the viewer into psychological unease as lie after lie are laid bare after a near-tragedy. Sure to please fans of Hitchcock!
½ September 19, 2015
9/18/15 Netflix
Another winner from the Academy Award Winning Director who brought us Separation. Seems the Iranian film industry is alive and well. This movie has a good story plot, interesting twists and turns, an intriguing mystery and an ending that will leave you satisfied or maybe not. The real story is how a situation that is totally unexpected can cause people to relate to each other in surprising ways. Very entertaining and thought provoking. Already looking forward to his next film.
September 18, 2015
An intriguing rare peak into the culture of lies that the film suggests permeates a misogynistic society.
September 18, 2015
Almost like a.thriller because it is so tense. Even after ending I'm quite not sure what happened. Felt very real and not at all movie like. Was like I was easedropping.. I like this film maker. the movies are very well done and not at all hollywood.
September 17, 2015
Enthrawlling and top notch performances create an eerie and chilling mystery movie
September 13, 2015
A lady dies which is quite a big deal but the melodrama that follows is pretty ridiculous. I don't really understand the plot very well. You'd think that someone dying was bad but somehow we're led to believe a white lie is a bigger deal. I got bored and disinterested.
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