Sunday, March 30, 2014

10 thoughts on...The Past

  1. How do you follow-up A Separation? It's quite surprising taht Asghar Farhadi decided to make a film whose core is indebted to his previous Oscar-winning film but what is more surprising that he succeeds in shifting the focus to create a film that feels quite different.
  2. Life is hard. Families are hard. Love is hard.
  3. The reoccurring behaviour of each character to make a decision and then reverse it is a powerful motif for the film that dwells on past decisions and whose characters place so much pressure on their current choices due to their previous misfortune.
  4. Berenice Bejo is now be remembered for her astonishing performance here (rather than her celebrated work in The Artist).
  5. The final act is rather sprawling but, and this is an internal argument I am confronted with regularly, the conclusion has such impact that does it matter if Farhadi takes so many scenes to make his point?
  6. The image above is one of the rare moments where you see a future for these characters that are literally surrounded by their past, maybe even haunted (although using such a melodramatic phrase for a film that successfully strives for realism seems unjust).
  7. The presence of Ali Mosaffa's Ahmad frustrated me. A very well judged performance and characterisation of a man who seems to have effectively abandoned his family yet regains sway within the home. 
  8. Tahar Rahim's performance is the definition of a strong yet broken man. And his eyes convey all of his pain, confusion and fear.
  9. What will Farhadi do next?
  10. That ending. Powerful.

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