The Past Review – Remarkable

While you schmucks are deep-throating crappy Tamil trash like Jilla and reveling in stolen Bollywood bilge like Highway, here I’m watching The Past (French, 2013) from acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi.

You know why I picked up The Past from the RedBox kiosk a short while ago?

Simple, kiddo!

Because I loved Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar winner A Separation. A gem of a movie!

Farhadi wrote and directed The Past!

I have started watching The Past and will update this review once I finish the movie ($1.22 at RedBox and available at Netflix on monthly subscription in the U.S.).

In the meantime you can feast your eyes on the trailer of The Past.

The Past – Divine

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest work Le Passé (English: The Past) is a riveting film with highly realistic performances by the three lead characters.

Like Farhadi’s previous film (the Oscar winning A Separation), The Past too is an intense family drama.

The present serves as the stage for the brilliant Farhadi to build a dramatic scaffolding on the unshakeable foundation of past conflicts and relationships.

All the key events that serve as foundation for the Past – breakdown of the two marriages, the suicide, and the affair – are firmly rooted in the past and are never shown, not even in flashback. Merely discussed to support the ‘present’ narrative.

When Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) returns to France to finalize his divorce with Marie Brisson (Bérénice Bejo of The Artist fame), the stage is set for tensions to rise to the surface within the family.

Marie, meanwhile, is in a relationship with a younger man, Samir (Tahar Rahim).

Marie has two daughters Lucie and Lea from a different relationship while Samir has a young boy Fouad from his marriage to Céline.

It’s the tension between the three main characters, Marie, Ahmad and Samir, and between parents and the children that is the life of this splendid film.

In the confrontations between the key characters, The Past reminded me of Roman Polanski’s Carnage (where the tension between the four characters is of a much higher order).

Much of the film is shot indoors and the closeup photography and nice camera angles add to the charm of the film.

Like with A Separation, in the Past too director Farhadi leaves the ending opaque.

The Past has won several accolades including a nomination for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (where it lost out to Blue Is the Warmest Colour). But Bérénice Bejo walked off with the Best Actress Award at the same festival for her performance in The Past. enthusiastically recommends The Past. This remarkable movie is available at RedBox and Netflix.

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