Jodaeiye Nader az Simin [A Separation] (2011)

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Writer: Asghar Farhadi
Cast: Peyman Maadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini, Sarina Farhadi

Plot:
Nader (Peyman Maadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami) are in the middle of getting a divorce. Simin got a visa for them to leave Iran and provide opportunities for their daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) she would otherwise not have. But Nader’s father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) suffers from Alzheimer’s and Nader doesn’t want to leave him behind. When the court doesn’t agree with their divorce, they separate and Nader hires Razieh (Sareh Bayat) to help him take care of his father. But Razieh is under a lot of pressure herself and the situation quickly escalates.

The film is well acted and an interesting look at Iranian society but it just left me absolutely and astoundingly cold. And without that emotional connection, it was boring.

This film got so much praise that it almost makes me question my taste and my ability to focus. Because I was pretty much bored the entire time. It was much too long and I didn’t really care about the characters (apart maybe from Termeh and Nader’s father). But my ego is big enough that I can say that everybody else is wrong and this film is just really boring.

I mean, I do appreciate it on an intellectual level (apart from the ending that just suuuucked) but I didn’t enjoy the film. It’s like swallowing vitamin pills instead of eating fruit: you might get the nutrients, but where’s the fun in that?

I wanted to like this film. It’s not often you get to see acclaimed Iranian cinema. But after about 30 minutes, I just wanted it to get a move on and speed their story up and have things starting to happen. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and I spent most of the film feeling very frustrated by it all.

Admittedly part of that might have been that I saw a dubbed version and that is just plain awful. I can still remember when I watched all my movies dubbed, but I can’t remember how I didn’t rave at the screen all the time because it. is. so. bad. But even if I had seen the original version (subtitled, of course), I don’t think it would have changed my opinion of the film.

Summarising: I don’t know what the critics see in it (it has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, for crying out loud). I can’t recommend it.

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