About Elly Reviews
About Elly was an interesting movie but to me the mystery wasn't that over the top as I expected, but it felt more about the others and how they reacted to this situation, which was also good. That being said, this movie was about human reactions to an alarming situation, and that worked but not 100% to me. However, the performances were really good and were probably the reason of why the movie was compelling and how real it felt.
~August 8, 2015~
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.
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.
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.
All this said, it was interesting, and I recommend it.