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66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and challenging - a brilliant movie!
A real gem of a movie that provides a very interesting (and quite surprising) insight into today's Iranian society. Although the story is better left untold, the script challenges you in your perception and opinion of the main characters scene after scene. The acting is top-notch and, although the pace is quite measured, the movie is never dull or boring. A movie I would...
Published on 2 July 2011 by The Grenouille

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars rather grim film
very well acted but a rather grim film do not watch it if you feel down its more of a film buffs film
Published 14 months ago by JOHN COKE


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Human Drama, 25 Oct 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Separation [DVD] (DVD)
Iranian Asghar Farhadi's highly acclaimed film is an intensely emotional and human drama set in modern day Tehran. Of course, whilst Iranian cinema has over the years achieved a good deal of cinematic notoriety with numerous film festival accolades, it is also good to see wider audience recognition for the country's film output, particularly in the light of the recent oppression of some of Iran's leading film-makers (Jafar Panahi, Mohsen Makhmalbaf). In relation to A Separation, it is interesting to note that, whilst the studied nature of the film is perhaps typical of other Iranian directors such as Panahi and the early films of Abbas Kiarostami, Farhadi's essentially domestic tale of family and class conflict (albeit with the overriding presence of strict religious observance) could easily be transferred to apply to many cultures and nationalities.

Shot in (at times) semi-documentary style using hand held cameras, and with no musical score (save for the exquisite theme played over the closing credits), A Separation tells the heart-rending story of a couple's (husband Nader and wife Simin) pending divorce, and its impact on their immediate family, in particular a lone daughter and the husband's live-in father, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Following Simin's leaving home, Nader is forced to employ a female carer for his father and a tragic set of events lead to the carer and her husband becoming embroiled with Nader and Simin (who represent a higher class in Iranian society) in a series of potential criminal prosecutions. The relatively slow pace of Farhadi's film is, therefore, rather deceptive and instead the audience becomes captivated by what is a brilliantly compelling and insightful tale of family duty, pride, confused loyalty, guilt and class frictions. Farhadi's film is peppered with nice (and often progressive) observational touches, such as Nader and Simin's use of an electric dishwasher (dispelling western audiences' misplaced views of Iranian society) and the (altogether more serious) treatment of an Alzheimer's sufferer. In terms of other film-makers, Farhadi's film is for me reminiscent of the works of the Dardennes brothers (subject-wise) and Michael Haneke (style-wise).

Acting wise, the film is virtually faultless, but particular mention should go to Peyman Moaadi as the stubborn and belligerent Nader, whose devotion to his family (father, daughter, wife) leads him down an increasingly shady path, Leila Hatami as Nader's equally combative wife Simin, and to their two adversaries, Shahab Hosseini as the increasingly volatile (and disadvantaged) husband Hodjat and Sareh Bayat as Hodjat's retiring and subservient wife, Razieh.

Farhadi is particularly careful not to explicitly judge any of his characters, but rather to present their own points of view (largely) sympathetically. A Separation therefore provides the audience with no easy resolutions, an approach which is exemplified in the film's brilliant concluding sequence as Nader and Simin return to their divorce judge and prepare to learn which of them is to have custody of their daughter.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bridging the cultural divide, 18 Sep 2011
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Separation [DVD] (DVD)
At a time of great ignorance in the west of life in modern Iran this film provides some useful insights. I was struck by how similar the issues are in some ways to those of a British couple facing separation, yet also by the extent of the cultural differences. The wife wants to leave the country with her daughter, but her husband has the power to forbid it. The perceptive teenage daughter is caught between her parents, and chooses at first to stay with her father in a desperate attempt to keep her parents together. The wife goes off to live with her own parents, leaving her estranged husband with the problem of how to obtain day care for his father, who suffers from dementia. The woman who is hired for this task through a casual arrangement proves unable to cope. There is a fascinating scene in which, concerned for the old man who is incontinent, she phones an imam for advice as to whether it is permissible for her to help her charge to clean himself. The husband returns home to find the flat empty and his father in a state, and matters turn violent when the carer comes back without a good explanation. In the ongoing dispute, the complexity of the issues is clearly shown, with right on both sides, and one's sympathies are divided.

This is a tightly plotted and entertaining drama, despite the at times grim theme - a kind of middle eastern update of Kramer versus Kramer (American film about a divorced couple with Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman) and in my view much deeper. We are thrust into the midst of some very convincing dramatic exchanges. The Iranian justice system is intriguing as we see the various protagonists crammed into an office, arguing loudly with each other and with the official whose task it is to decide on what seems an arbitrary basis who should be charged and who should be held in jail pending trial. Although harsh, Iranian society seems in some ways more deeply moral and concerned with fairness and right versus wrong than our own. Ironically, as in Britain, the better educated and wealthier couple's rights win out over those of the poorer family.

"Separation" is not just a drama with an appeal which crosses cultural boundaries. It also increased my understanding of Iranian culture and deserves to be more widely viewed to break down our ill-founded prejudices.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this movie for anyone hoping to watch a good ..., 4 July 2014
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A must watch film.

This film explores the themes of guilt, shame, and obligation through the story of separated family struggling through hardship.

The acting is superb in this movie and all of the actors and actresses mesh perfectly with one another.

The cinnamotraphy is distinct and makes viewing much more intimate (at times) and more interesting.

I would recommend this movie for anyone hoping to watch a good interesting film.

I would not recommend this movie to anyone having 'date night'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply stunning, 18 Jun 2014
By 
D. Lawrence (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Finding Asghar Farhadi (director) is like coming across Kieslowski for the first time. The sparse, understated, but always moving atmosphere of his films puts so much else into perspective. You're probably best served by seeing his 'Past' before 'A Separation' but don't hesitate to introduce yourself to a new delight.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting film, 16 Jun 2014
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Good and interesting throughout the whole story and well-performed. It is important to take a look of the way of life and how religion can determine your moral actions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating and Sad, 23 May 2014
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This review is from: A Separation [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent character portrayal,potential insight into life in a Muslim state.

A range of diverse characters.

A must for all over 25's
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5.0 out of 5 stars good, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: A Separation [DVD] (DVD)
Not as good as Kuma, but still a very good film in its' own right. Arrived, in time and excellent condition. can't go wrong, Would recommend it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A separation, 20 April 2014
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This review is from: A Separation [DVD] (DVD)
A well written well acted film with a surprisingly universal core story and also showing up the difficulties in a less than liberal society when relationship difficulties arise It held the attention throughout and the sub titles were easy to read One felt really involved in the dilemmas of this family It navigated the political and religious intricacies of the Iranian legal system but had a very human touch which was really interesting to observe and showed how misunderstandings could lead to a much more serious situation in a less liberal society than our own A really absorbing film Recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected pleasure, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: A Separation [DVD] (DVD)
I hesitated buying this film because the film trailers on-line suggest a film about the oppression of a Western woman in a marriage in Iran. Without giving away the plot and the surprises, the film is not what I expected and as it unfolds, what the viewer first sees is not perhaps what really happened. It is about the difficulties of family relationships and develops into a type of whodunit later on.

A first class movie from a talented director.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The dilemma of Iranian culture, 13 Jan 2014
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This review is from: A Separation [DVD] (DVD)
A realistic portrayal of life in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Very moving, brought tears to my eyes. Very good acting and directing.
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A Separation [DVD]
A Separation [DVD] by Asghar Farhadi (DVD - 2011)
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