About Elly”, Yet Another Superb Iranian Film.

2009_about_elly_0011After the huge suc­cess of Asghar Farhadi’s A Sep­a­ra­tion (2011), view­ers in the West have now been giv­en a chance to catch up with the film he made before it, About Elly (’09).

A Sep­a­ra­tion was Farhadi’s fifth film, and was qui­et­ly bril­liant. Unsur­pris­ing­ly it swept the boards, win­ning the Acad­e­my Award for Best For­eign Lan­guage film in 2011 as well a Berlin’s pres­ti­gious Gold­en Bear, and was reviewed by me ear­li­er here.

About Elly is yet fur­ther con­fir­ma­tion that Iran is one of the most excit­ing cen­tres for cin­e­ma in the world — you can see the trail­er here. Film mak­ers like Farha­di and Jafar Panahi are spear­head­ing a sec­ond wave who have now arrived to sup­ple­ment what was going on there in the 80s and 90s. You can read about that in my review of Panahi’s This Is Not A Film here. Who by the way is pre­sum­ably still under house arrest there. 

This Is Not A FilmAbout Elly’s open­ing 20 min­utes or so mean­der along in an appar­ent­ly sleepy fash­ion. Three or four pairs of mid­dle class Ira­ni­ans have trav­elled to the coast for a hol­i­day break. But then out of the blue, some­thing hap­pens. And then we and they spend the rest of the film try­ing to piece togeth­er what it was.

It’s not a thriller though. It’s a small, per­son­al dra­ma, in which the ten­sion aris­es from the lit­tle lies that the friends begin telling each oth­er as a result of the event that they are all try­ing to unravel.

FRENCH211-2Not a mil­lion miles from the ter­rain cov­ered by Anto­nioni in L’Avven­tu­ra, though with­out the lat­ter’s for­mal rigour and aus­tere beau­ty. Rather, as with A Sep­a­ra­tion, it’s clos­er in tone to Bergman. Farha­di is less inter­est­ed in form and space, and choses instead to immerse him­self in the world of his char­ac­ters and the sto­ries that enfold them. 

And once again, those kind of com­par­isons are ful­ly mer­it­ed. About Elly is a riv­et­ing, engross­ing and at once beguil­ing sto­ry. And Farhadi’s abil­i­ty to reel you in by with­hold­ing sto­ry points until the very last moment makes him one of the most excit­ing film mak­ers in world cinema.

Sign up for a sub­scrip­tion right or below and I shall keep you post­ed every week on All the Very Best and Worst in Film, Tele­vi­sion and Music.


  1. Please Approve com­ment to those in need

    Reach.. R.buckler 11 [[gmail…… com]].……Get back with Ex-boyfriend, Ex-Girl­friend, Ex-hus­band, Ex-wife.….….….……

    Buck­ler is the best rela­tion­ship coach„

    Hap­py Reading.

    Thank you, very much.

Speak Your Mind