A Separation (2011) Review

Verdict: A little intense

Amazing acting with an intriguing and complex story.


Simin (Leila Hatami) wants to escape Iran and live in a better country, but her husband, Nader (Peyman Moaadi) will not leave his father who has Alzheimer’s disease. Feeling it is her only option, she tries file for divorce, but when custody of her daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) cannot be determined, she finds she cannot leave the country as Nader will not give their daughter up. Instead, she moves out of the home, and Nader hires Razieh (Sareh Bayat) as a housekeeper to take care of his father and clean the house during the day. What ensues are a series of events in which Nader’s father almost dies and Razieh is injured and who is to blame is not concrete. Directed and written by Asghar Farhadi.

Watching films from across the globe has certainly been an interesting experience, and this film was pretty enjoyable to watch. The only thing I would say is that the film is a bit long, and seemed to go in circles for a bit, but is otherwise engaging.

The acting is amazing, with the actors and actresses really giving emotion to their performances. Moaadi and Hatami as the separated husband and wife show the tension between their characters really well. Moaadi does really well with the debating scenes, as he has to argue before a judge multiple times. Hatami is also really good at delivering her lines, and the portrayal of her character’s emotions definitely shines through. Bayat does a pretty good job too, though I did not really connect with her character.

The script is well written and gives me more of a sense of Iranian culture. The film has a lot of speech and it was pretty incredible to watch them argue and debate about various events. The delivery was key, and they managed to pull it off. But because of the many arguments, it can be a bit hard to follow and at times is a bit heavy.

Also, the story is pretty complex because of the many plots involved, and like the few International movies I watched before, there is no real conclusion. I was pretty peeved at the ending, but once I thought over it, I realized how conditioned I am to Hollywood films that I want a sense of closure every time. However, the way this film ended is pretty ingenious and it fits the characteristic of the film.

To sum-up:
PROS: Acting, script, arguments, story
CONS: A little long, bit heavy

I give this a 7.5/10.

Have you seen A Separation? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!


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