A Separation (2011) review

A Separation (2011) is a film that explores the complicated reasoning behind every main character’s actions in a sophisticated way that leaves the audience constantly questioning the true intentions of each character. 

A Separation begins with an argument and tough dilemma between Nader (Peyman Moadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami) in which they are confronted with the dilemma of wanting to move abroad in order to attempt to provide their daughter Termeh with better opportunities. The dilemma is that Nader’s father suffers from Alzheimers and is completely unable to be left alone, as such Nader wants to be by his side in order to care for him. The quarrel ends in no middle ground solution so Simin files for divorce and moves out to live with her mother. This leads to the introduction of our next main character, Razieh (Sareh Bayat) who has been hired to be Nader’s father’s caretaker. However, another problem arises when she takes on the job secretly as her husband would have not allowed it due to religious reasons. However, this creates another dilemma as their family is in need of money and her husband is being chased by creditors whilst they both need to provide for their young daughter. The turning point in the film takes place when Nader comes home to find his father tied to his bed almost not alive, in which he blames Razieh for not doing her job properly. This leads to an altercation where Nader pushes Razieh (who is pregnant) out of his house to what seems to be a fall which causes her a miscarriage. Here is where tensions soar as Nader suddenly becomes accused of murder and everything around him and seemingly everyones else comes crumbling down. 

Asghar Farhadi demonstrates fantastic writing and directing in this modern masterpiece, emphasising the notion that everyone has their reasonings for what they do and that no one is necessarily completely guilty or innocent. A Separation is a tale of family struggle, a tale of repercussions, and a tale of sadness. What makes A Separation such an important film is that it exhibits how small decisions have the possibility of becoming crucial decisions within the future and may come back to haunt you. 

A Separation was beautifully shot with some extremely powerful scenes, my favourite being the final scene where the credits begin to roll over the shot with a beautiful melancholic instrumental in the background. This scene encapsulated the whole film for me as it ultimately in just one shot demonstrated the feelings and thoughts of every character perfectly. I highly recommend this film to just about anyone, it explores what it is to be human and the power of our feelings.

If you didn’t say a lie, why should you be careful? – Termeh

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