A Separation - 8
Edited by kkl10 - 1/9/14 at 12:41pm
Within the high censorship context of Iran and the very limited resources available I can see how this movie might be notable.
It's competent on most technical aspects and it's well written.
But I fail to see anything special about it...
While the argument is interesting and relevant in the islamic context, it seemed to me the developments were too much akin to what can be seen in soap opera stuff, or Telenovelas...
I'm not saying this work is such a thing, however, for a family drama movie it left me wanting on cinematic and emocional nuance, I found little of it.
The lack of physical tenderness in transgender relations, for example, has taken away some depth and nuance in human relations I would expect to encounter in a family drama, here I suppose the islamic context is to blame with all it's omnipresence even in creative circles.
So praise must be given to Asghar Farhadi for still being able to make a movie with some emotional power and, in fact, he might have used this sort of peculiarities to his advantage as depicted in the only scene where there's an act of physical tenderness between a man (senile grandpa) and a woman (young granddaughter):
here the viewer is only able to see part of the womans body while the act itself (kiss or hug the question remains) is
covered in a very interesting way, I found this one of the rare interesting cinematic nuances of the whole movie.
These sort of peculiarities give this work a potentially educational value to anyone who doesn't know the daily life in Iran.
I feel that the greatest value of this work are the difficult moral and social questions it arises as a challenge to the viewer which compel to reflection.
The very first scene of the movie promissed a lot (brilliant!), but in pretty much the whole rest of it I failed to see anything that could demark this work from all other alike dramas that abound so much nowadays, the islamic context added it's own quirks and peculiarities to the social, moral and religious paradigmas depicted here but cinematically it contributed little to nothing, in fact I would say that it subtracted some nuance and depth in human relations... but maybe this was preciselly the intent of the director in order to most realistically portray the true social paradigma of the country... honestly I got the feeling it was more of a limitation than deliberate choice of Asghar Farhadi, in any case, he surelly has tried to use it to his own benefit... within possibilities...
The thing is, the main complain I have of this movie is that it is emotionally dry and very plain as I perceive it...
Those are preciselly the words that first show up in my head to describe it - very realistic but dry and plain in almost every level... and boring to watch despite a few thrills and curiosities here and there...
I actually forced myself to see it a second time to try to figure out what I was missing before writting my thoughts, but no, this is not the sort of movie that keps me interested for more, actually it went down on my estimation in the second view, it wasn't entertaining at all.
In the end I fail to see what's so special about it and hardly understand the high praise from critics.
I don't think it's a bad movie, I think it's a good movie but not excepcional in any way to deserve so much love and kiss.
If not for the few rare interesting scenes and the external factors limiting it's production, I would willingly rate it lower.
I'm curious to see what this director can do in a more open environment, but if The Past is just more of the same I'm affraid I'm not interested.