The Past (Le passé)
Cert: 12A Year: 2013 Length: 130 mins Language: French/Persian
Cinema Handout (PDF 225KB)
Score: 79.91% Attendance: 124
There are two Keswick 'traditions' we didn't want to break; to start the season with a French film and to show all Asghar Farhadi movies. Imagine our pleasure, then, when we found that Farhadi had moved to France for his latest film.
In 'About Elly', Farhadi showed what a great storyteller he is, with the disappearance of Elly leaving us guessing whether she had drowned or simply gone home. 'A Separation' brought him an Oscar for his deeply involving way of showing the trials and tribulations of a couple split over moving countries to help their daughter to improve her life, or staying to care for an old parent in need.
'The Past' continues his study of fractured lives (could there be a trilogy being made here?). Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) is called to France to finalise his divorce from Marie (Berenice Bejo from 'The Artist'). On arrival he is soon involved with Marie's problems in her new life - sharing a house with her new lover Samir (Tahir Rahim from 'A Prophet') and their three children from previous marriages. The already existing tensions are exacerbated by Ahmad's presence and we are pulled in to their complex relationships and problems; is there something more going on than meets the eye?
Farhadi's script deliberately keeps us guessing about these relationships and 'exerts a tight emotional grip throughout, ratcheting up the tension before delivering a series of heart-wrenching twists and revelations' - Matthew Turner, View London
The actors, too, all get universal praise, with Berenice Bejo singled out for many awards, including the Cannes Best Actress award for her central role here as Marie. A world star in the making since her nomination for most promising actress in 2001, she appears to be firmly there now.
Let's hope our pleasure at finding the French connection here to start the season is matched by yours, seeing this film that had Asghar Farhadi in the running for the Palme D'Or at Cannes.
an exquisitely made film which probes away at the rawest, most intimate emotions of its characters with a delicacy and insight reminiscent of Krzysztof Kieslowski in his prime.
Derek Malcolm, Independent.
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