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About the Movie
From the Academy Award winning director of A SEPARATION and the Academy Award nominated THE SALESMAN comes this mesmerizing thriller about a young woman’s mysterious disappearance. With the return of their close friend Ahmad from Germany, a group of old college pals decide to reunite for a weekend outing by the Caspian Sea. The fun starts right away as they catch on to the plan of Sepideh, who has brought along Elly, her daughter's kindergarten teacher, in hopes of setting her up with recently divorced Ahmad. But seemingly trivial lies, which start accumulating from the moment the group arrives at the seashore, come back to haunt them when one afternoon Elly suddenly vanishes. Her disappearance sets in motion a series of deceptions and revelations that threaten to shatter everything they hold dear.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 68
- Fresh: 67
- Rotten: 1
- Average Rating: 8.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: You begin to wonder to what extent the film is a critique of an entire society in which the disparity between tradition and modernity is irreconcilable.
Fresh: Farhadi has written a first-rate script, enabling intricate plotting to intertwine with well-defined characters, and "About Elly" shows him at ease with the wide variety of situations his writing explores.
Fresh: It has taken six years for this terrific film to work its way back to us, and if possible I think it's even better and more relevant in 2015 than when it was made.
Fresh: A thriller perched right on the fault line between modern thinking and Islamic tradition.
Lots of political undertones (supposedly), but why should I care?
While on the surface this is a suspense film about the disappearance of a woman, and a genuine but chaotic attempt by some random acquaintances to investigate, this is apparently (from what I’ve read from others) a film that is more concerned with the social commentary on Iranian (and likewise Islamic) culture.
People are prevented by law from speaking their mind with each other, whether it’s due to social dynamics between genders or married couples, a lot of cultural barriers make it difficult for people to convey their true thoughts and feelings to others. As an American with only a vague sense of what this is truly like at the face-to-face level, there is at least something interesting to be learned.
However, pure social commentary does not a good film make. This is a two-hour movie about people lying to each other, and none of it holds any purpose or connection to the audience. You’re constantly left to wonder if any of the characters ever mean what they say, leading to a bunch of dialogue that holds no weight.
The basic premise of the movie is: person says something, others do something based on what they said, then that person comes back and goes “actually, that isn’t true; this is the real story”; repeat about 5 or 6 times and you’ve got the idea. There is no way for anyone watching to involve themselves or try to figure it out in their head, because they are just drip-fed a bunch of facts that they otherwise had no way of knowing five minutes earlier. The whole thing comes off as pointless, especially considering the mystery just solves itself, with no real epilogue or reflection by the characters on what took place.
Asghar Farhadi gave us SEPARATION, and now he just delivery another awesome, great, perfect movie... "About Elly" is so intense that is gonna makes you anxious. I really love foreign movies, different culture is present to us in a masterpiece.
Nice, taunt what happens next pic. If you are ethnocentric, then you may have trouble with a foreign film. If you can't read well then you may want to wait for the dubbed version. I thought it well done, thought provoking and poignant. Keep them coming iTunes!