Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Films Of 2012 - No.9

Films Of 2012 - No. 9

About Elly (Dir. Asghar Farhadi)

Asghar Farhadi won plaudits from everyman and his dog for his brilliant Oscar winning drama A Separation. After that film’s success 2012 brought the UK release of his previous film, About Elly, which won the Silver Bear at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.

A group of friends travel from Tehran to a seaside villa for a holiday. Amongst them is the titular Elly who has very little connection to the group apart from being the teacher of some of the children. The group invited her in order to meet their single friend Ahmad in the hope that they might take a liking to each other.

To say any more would spoil what is a compelling drama. It has been described by some as a “moral whodunit” which is an accurate description of what makes the film so great. About Elly is a drama about morality and the fallout of lies but is very intricately constructed like the very best thrillers. The significance of some seemingly minor details in the film’s first hour only become relevant in the second. Farhadi refrains from showing certain conversations and actions in order to create tension. Most importantly Farhadi doesn’t spoil his ending with convoluted plotting but instead reflects on society in modern day Iran.

It may not be quite as good as A Separation, but About Elly is a superbly crafted drama from a very talented writer and director.

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