Flash Movie Review: The Past
There is a method to my madness, just hear me out. Until I see a movie I avoid reading any reviews of it. I want to know as little as possible about a film, only allowing myself to see the movie trailer, though sometimes the trailer is better than the whole picture. After I have seen the movie then I will look at some of the reviews. This is why in my reviews I barely mention any particular scene details or facts about the story line. With today’s review, this is the perfect example to show you why I prefer to blindly walk into a theater with my mind an open and blank slate. I had no idea this dramatic mystery was directed by Asghar Farhadi (About Elly) who directed one of my favorite films of 2011, A Separation. Gratefully I did not know which movies won at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival because this movie was a winner. The only thing I knew when I went to see this picture was it had subtitles. The movie started and I immediately found myself in Paris, witnessing a separated couple finishing up the process of their divorce. There were children involved from past and present relationships; however, hanging over everyone like a dense fog, hampering everyone’s senses was a woman in a coma. Every scene in this movie had an authentic sense of true emotion; the cast could have easily been a friend, relative or acquaintance of yours because they never came across as if they were actors acting. They were just being real. Let me name a few of the exceptional performers: there was Berenice Bejo (The Artist, A Knight’s Tale) as the soon to be ex-wife Marie Brisson; Ali Mosaffa (Leila, The Last Step) as the Iranian husband Ahmad and Tahar Rahim (A Prophet, The Eagle) as the live-in boyfriend Samir. I felt as if I was a guest invited into the lives of these individuals, sitting with them when they were eating, wanting to comfort them when they were sad. There were no special effects needed, no sudden unexplained turns in the story that would leave one wondering; all that was there were genuine feelings of fear, guilt, love and doubt. This film is one of the reasons why I love going to the movies. I do not have to pack an overnight bag, wait in long security lines or dress in a particular way; yet, I do get to leave all the things that make up my daily life and experience for a moment how other people live their lives. The dialog was done in French and Persian languages with English subtitles.
3 1/2 stars
Posted on January 17, 2014, in Foreign and tagged 3 1/2 stars, ali mosaffa, asghar farhadi, berenice bejo, cannes film festival, drama, foreign, mystery, paris, tahar rahim. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.