Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Cornerhouse, 30 March 2014
There is a honesty about this film that I very much like: call it a fidelity to complexity or a refusal to simplify.
They are on the verge of divorce, Ahmad and Marie, yet there’s a vestige of passion still. While Samir (Tahar Rahim, who played the young guy in The Prophet), Marie’s boyfriend/prospective partner, continues to carry a flame for his wife, who is in a coma.
The unfolding events are realistic yet revelatory, providing an explanation for the family tensions.
Two points of note: one, the children’s concerns have parity with the adults’; two, these people argue, shout, become passionate, but there is very little (I can’t quite say ‘no’) violence. The bond of love is always present.
The Past is a moving, meticulously crafted film – compare, as a for instance, the final scene with the scene where Samir and Marie are driving in his car: the way the two couple’s hands are interwoven.
Splendid performances. Wonderfully made.