Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Took me a very long wait but finally I was able to watch this magnificent film by Asghar Farhadi who captivated me with Chaharshanbe-soori (Fireworks Wednesday) and continue captivating me with another interesting exploration on human relations in a film with sophisticated storytelling depicting a story that according to what I read, could mean different things to different people. Fascinating.
The film tells about three families traveling to the Caspian sea for a week-end holiday. They arrive only to find that the house they rented was not available and end-up staying in a tore down house near the sea. While they are setting in all is happiness, fun, we are introduced to the characters and the basic plot of the story, but everything -and I mean everything- changes when one little boy is missing and find him floating far away in the sea. What actually changes is the group dynamics plus characters behavior and you have no idea how well-develop the characters are, how the story will evolve and involve you.
To me the story is about women and their perhaps so common behavior all over the world, so it's not a story that only belongs to Iranian women; but to others the story is about lies and their consequences. Whatever you see in the story is up to you, but definitively is not only a very interesting story but also an universal story.
Great performances by excellent actors in this high value production that's set mainly at the beach house, so you have a movie that's all about characters and narrative, while tech specs are good the main thing is that they do not disturb the human drama that's being told so superbly.
As we know the film was Iran's submission to 2010 Oscar and while traveling the fest circuit was honored with multiple awards including a Silver Bear at the 2009 Berlinale for Best Director and the film in competition for the Golden Bear; and the Best Narrative Feature at 2009 Tribeca. Because I believe it's a great summary for the film, here is a reproduction of the Jury statement at the 2009 Viennale where won the Der Standard Readers' Jury Prize.
“Darbareye Elly is an artistically convincing, multi-layered drama about morals, responsibility to oneself and others, as well as the relationship to truth revealed by the dynamics of interpersonal relations. At the same time, it provides a rare view of Iran’s middle-class.”
So it's not just me that believes that Asghar Farhadi is the most outstanding Iranian filmmaker that allows us westerners to see a different side of Iranian culture in films with very compelling (universal) stories. If you haven't seen the film I strongly suggest you don't miss it as I highly recommend it.
Watch trailer @Movie On Companion