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Beautifully written, sensitively directed, and powerfully acted, The Past serves as another compelling testament to Asghar Farhadi's gift for finely layered drama.
All Critics (147)
| Top Critics (36)
| Fresh (136)
| Rotten (11)
In the end, so much of The Past just doesn't have that crucial ring of truth to it. Disappointing and underwhelming.
Farhadi has pulled off the dysfunctional family mystery trick twice now, brilliantly, and perhaps three times in a row would be too much. But it's doubtful he will leave behind the fertile ground of family ties and modern messiness. He sees so much there.
"The Past" is long and occasionally feels slow - as real life sometimes does - but never false.
Farhadi is the rare director who can establish an atmosphere of intimacy that resonates with meaning and sentiment.
What a teller of domestic truths Asghar Farhadi has become.
The Past is about people who wish they could erase what came before and just live in the now, but life doesn't let anyone off the hook that easily.
The Past once again cements Farhadi's position as one of world cinema's finest working filmmakers, capable of flipping his labyrinthine familial fables with the smallest, most inconsequential of actions.
The film questions responsibility and shows how sometimes people do the wrong thing. It is begs the question: what exactly is the right thing, and how can we recognise it?
We get a sense of the Larkin sentiment that, "They fuck you up, your mum and dad", as the by products of the parental dalliances (the kids), are left as collateral damage.
The theatrical feel persists in "The Past," whose shoot was preceded by two months of rehearsal, but it's cruder and more driven by the demands of an overloaded plot.
No one wins in this ambiguous, accomplished film, which ends by burdening the audience with a secret that none of the characters will ever know.
Farhadi explores the strength of selfishness and secrets and expresses symbolically - and forcefully - how the past clings to us. [Full review in Spanish]
A movie with all the trappings of a insightful and intricate drama - the actors display all the emotions of rage, anger, sadness and confusion that failed relationships bring. Yet ultimately the film fails to be as meaningful of a character study as it thinks it is.
"Le Passé" (The Past) is brave enough to imply lots of things about humans but doesn't go as far to make you believe them. Once the central secret is revealed the film decides to become a mystery vs a human drama and then the proceedings just get more unbelievable as every twist gets revealed.
The performances are top-notch, though I wish Tahar Rahim was more commanding. Rahim, so revelatory in "A Prophet", fails to really connect with the character cohesively so it's hard to imagine why Berenice Bejo is with him. Her daughter implies a reason at one point but the film does nothing to explore that truth other than continue to imply it.
"The Past" is worth watching for several scenes that are powerful. The scenes with young son Fouad are strong - and he becomes one of the more interesting characters in the film. Ali Mosaffa is great as the soon-to-be ex-husband but you never quite know what drove the relationship to fall apart and the first half of the film where you follow him and how he causes the unravelling of this family is more interesting than the second half of the film.
Farhadi proves again that he is one of the greatest storytellers nowadays to shape nuanced, three-dimensional characters, making it impossible for us to take sides or judge any of them - and his wonderful last scene, filmed in one long take, is of extraordinary sensibility.
Samir: When two people see each other after 4 years and still fight together, it shows that there is something unsolved between them.
One of the best things about The Past, writer/director Asghar Farhadi's follow up film to 2011's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, A Separation, is that it makes me want to see all of Farhadi's previous films. Once again working with a fairly straight-forward, reality-based premise as the subject for a drama, Farhadi is certainly proving to be one of the best voices in film, when it comes to examining familial relationships. What makes this impressive is how gripping I have found his films to be, despite being incredibly limited as far as any sort of flashiness is concerned. With The Past, there are no broad characters, the film has almost no music or score whatsoever, and the film's stakes are entirely personal to the specific people involved. Still, The Past was another standout from 2013, as it is so great at being the film it is trying to be.
read the whole review at thecodeiszeek.com
Clouded and stuff with a few too many emotions, Asghar Farhadi directs his second Oscar contender, after "A Separation." What this film really is, is a picture made for the fans of his first breakout film, leaving relationship issues to drive the film, making you feel sorry for almost every character in the film, which was a little too depressing for my taste. Don't get me wrong, the film is brilliantly shot and well-written, and does deserve it's nominations, but it's nothing magnificent or anything that I will be mentioning to many people about. It's very interesting and the actors keep you engaged, and there are quite a few emotionally jarring moments that will make you tear up. "The Past" is probably the best forgettable film I have ever seen, if that makes sense.
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