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One of my favourite Fahradi's works, A masterpiece!
Another great script from Asghar Farhadi, but as a whole work I liked it less than the others: too much running around and all the intricacy of the story doesn't pay off completely at the end. Still good though.
The Iranian cinematography is great, though I have only seen movies of Kiarostami, Mehrjui, Makhmalbaf and Farhadi. About Elly is the best Iranian movie I've seen so far. The story gives the insights into life of the Iranian society, the culture, the relations between genders and the fate of women in the society. There are a lot of topics to think upon. At some point, the curios scenes of the Iranian young people spending time together change with a proper thriller, and story keeps you entertained till the last moment. Also, a great advantage of this movie is collaboration of two beautiful and fantastic Iranian actresses Taronish Alidoosti and Golshifteh Farahani. I can hardly imagine many duos in the cinema to better them!
Just can't understand the overwhelming critics. The movie is OK, but really far from riveting or masterpiece. The story is almost zero, the characters and conflicts very predictable and lacking real depth. I am disappointed, expected a lot more based o the critics and ratings.
I'd seen A Separation, the Past and Salesman, prior to About Elly. In each of those films, Farhadi cleverly covers his tracks, laying traps within traps that spring with deft timing. Deceptively simple premises unfold into complex nests of scenarios leaving the viewer with a ship in the bottle fascination.The same might be said of About Elly, however, Farhadi's footing seems less confident. Key pieces of information are repeated as if he does not yet trust either his ability to communicate information or his audience to catch it. Camera, at times also has missteps. The use of shaky handheld tracking shots up and down the beach often feels less of a choice and more of a technical necessity. Shot reverse shots occasionally stood out as quickly composed. Ultimately, while his later works feel like purposeful meditations on a subject: partnership or pride, this film felt more like the presentation of an odd circumstance, an exercise in suspense and nothing more.
I'd still recommend the film, and offer all of this as small quibbles for a quite remarkable film that simply feels a step below Farhadi's later masterworks.
About Elly is the story of a group of friends who go for a weekend getaway on the beach hoping to have a good time, but things take a dramatic turn when a mysterious member of their group disappears. This film did an excellent job of keeping me on my toes wondering what happened, and desperately waiting for a final reveal. I think the group dynamics are authentic, and I liked how each member of the group had unique personalities and their own distinct reactions to all the drama. While there were some cultural differences in how certain things were handled, the fear and worry are universal. I don’t always enjoy movies of this style, because a great deal of the runtime is made up of people bickering with one another. As it tends to happen in real life, the arguing became cyclical and repetitive so I wish they would have trimmed some of it out. I spent most of the time on edge as I waited to see what had happened, but I was never once bored by About Elly. I was intrigued and invested to a degree that I never expected when the film started. This is a mystery story in many ways, and I like how the layers of that mystery are slowly revealed over time. While it’s never going to be an favorite for me, I would gladly recommend About Elly to others.
Not really to the heights of 'A Separation' but still really worth a watch and kept me intrigued into watching more of Farhadi's work. The characterisation and the performances here are brilliant, you instantly accept all of the cast here, you're intrigued by their friendships and the drip feed of information to the viewer. Where it falls down, for me, was the plot. I didn't really buy into their reactions as events unfold and that took me out of the experience. Still a really intelligent film though, and for one which is basically very heavy on dialogue it passed by in a blur.
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.
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'.
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.