Skip to main content

Movie Review: A Separation (2011)

Sony Pictures
Runtime: 123 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (for mature thematic material)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Writers: Asghar Farhadi
Starring: Peyman Moadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat

Directed by Asghar Sarhadi, A Separation is about an Iranian husband and wife seeking a divorce because the husband, “Nader” (Peyman Moaadi) wants to stay in Iran to care for his aged father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) who has succumbed to Alzheimer’s Disease while wife
“Simin” (Leila Hatami) wants to move to give their daughter, “Termeh” (Sarina Farhadi) a life in a better place.

When they cannot reconcile, they face divorce in the courts. As Simin is preparing to leave, trapping their daughter in the middle of the controversy, Nader works while hiring care for his father at home. When one of the caregivers is hurt in a scuffle with Nader, a legal battle begins that takes us through the rest of the movie.

The subtitles may not always be spelled out correctly, and as fast as they appear on screen, are hard to read for the first 1/3 of the film, but that is about as far as criticisms go. This isn't even an American film, but it is a must-see, a once-a-year, stand-alone presentation that comes along and makes you ask: “How long has it been since I’ve seen a movie this good?”

In this hallowed production, Hollywood has no say. There are no cluttered or manipulative musical ploys, no clich├ęs relied upon or cheap plot devices to solicit interest. There are no peaks or valleys of trump-card revelations revolving around huge events, just two families battling it out in an ongoing effort to right a wrong. The plot swings with a single decision or declaration on the part of any given character, and suddenly, your perception of events changes.

The story itself – told with an uncanny brilliance – is what walks us through the lives of two families bound in a mutual struggle. While leaving the viewer to stew in a close-to home drama, we are led down a winding road of accusations, guilt, accountability, and ethics—all the while being reminded of the surprising capacity of human nature for good and bad.


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…