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Wednesday 28 December 2011

Iranian style: ‘A Separation’ pulls it together

The power in Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s familial-social drama “A Separation” is felt in close-ups :
The way Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Maadi) argue their case for divorce before a judge without glancing at each other .
The nonchalance Nader shows to Razieh (Sareh Bayat), a woman he's hired to keep his house and tend to his Alzheimeric father .
The hurt in the face of Simin and Nader's 11-year-old daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) as she decides to stay with her dad and tries to figure out her suddenly chaotic household .
Simin and Nader’s separation — she would like to use her visa before it expires to leave Iran; he’s reluctant to leave his ill father — sets off a domino effect of confusion and tragedy. Razieh is four months pregnant, and when Nader sees evidence of abuse against his father, he lashes out without knowing the whole truth and forcibly pushes Razieh .
Razieh loses her baby. However, when she and her husband, a self-pitying loose cannon whose anger is nonetheless understandable, bring charges aganst Nader, the truth is trickier than simply one word against another .
Together and apart, Hatami and Maadi are magnetic. Hatami, a star in Iranian cinema, lets us see Simin's intelligence and defiant sense of self-worth often with nothing more than a gesture. Her red hair a beacon under her headscarf, Simin is a woman who won’t let her own needs stop her from helping free Nader of possibly false criminal charges .
And Maadi, whose manner and style recall the actor Sam Neill, resists making Nader a heavy. He’s distracted and harried, but not a bully, and is never unclear of his own ethical compass — until one mistake makes him separate from his own conscience, and this methodical but passionate movie shows everything pulled apart .
SOURSE : NY Daily News

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