Mini Film Review: The Past (Le Passé, 2013) directed by Asghar Farhadi

le-passe_posterThe Past (French: Le Passé) is a family drama film written and directed by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. Although Mr. Farhadi speaks nothing but Farsi, the film was shot in France, obviously in French, and stars Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mosaffa. The film was nominated for the Palme d’Or award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and won the festival’s Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. Bejo also won the festival’s Best Actress Award. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was selected as the Iranian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated. It was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Golden Globe Awards. Le Passé (Spanish: El pasado) was released in Madrid on Wednesday 16 April, 2014. Begoña and I went to see this film yesterday in the company of my sister-in-law.

Synopsis: Following a four year separation, Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) returns to Paris from Tehran, upon his estranged French wife Marie (Bérénice Bejo)’s request, in order to finalize their divorce procedure so she can marry her new boyfriend Samir (Tahar Rahim). During his tense brief stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie’s relationship with her teenage daughter Lucie (Pauline Burlet). Ahmad’s efforts to improve this relationship soon unveil a secret from their past.. (Official website)

To be honest I was a bit reluctant to go and see The Past. Family dramas are not exactly my cup of tea. Even immediately after watching it, my first impression was that I had not liked it completely. Probably I wasn’t able to involve myself into the plot. However, I must admit that after 130 minutes, neither I found it boring. And I’m still thinking about this film. Some images are still in my memory. Maybe my first impression was totally wrong. I’ve come to realise now that it is a movie worth seeing. I’m pretty sure I failed to understand some aspects. My mind was probably somewhere else. But I’m willing to watch it again. If you have already seen it, I will love to hear your opinion.

Asghar Farhadi is an Iranian film director and screenwriter. His filmography includes: Dancing in the Dust, 2003; The Beautiful City, 2004; Fireworks Wednesday, 2006; About Elly, 2009; A Separation, 2011. Asghar Farhadi was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world by Time magazine in 2012.

A Separation won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012, becoming the first Iranian film to win the award. It received the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bears for Best Actress and Best Actor at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, becoming the first Iranian film to win the Golden Bear. It also won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award, making it the first non-English film in five years to achieve this. I look forward to seeing it again, since I barely remember it. Stay tuned.

When I checked, The Past was rated 8 at IMDb and has an average rating of 8.2/10 at Green Tomatoes.

See the film review at The Hollywood Reporter here.

Official website

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