• Asghar Farhadi’s fifth film is a profound meditation on divorce (every bit on the level of Kramer vs. Kramer, Marriage Story) and class (every bit on the level Parasite)

Opens with a three-minute shot of Simin (played by Leila Hatami) and Nader (Payman Maadi) discussing their failing relationship. They are talking to the camera with the unseen judge. “He is a good decent person”. Farhadi goes to the “A Separation” title after and then the “written and directed by” long after the rest of the credits—bit of a diva move who can begrudge him after such a fantastic film

  • Farhadi’s tool is the handheld camera, this is realism
  • Each of the characters do what they think is right under incredible stresses and circumstances. These are rich characterizations. Maadi and Hatami are supported ably by Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini and Farhadi’s own daughter Sarina Farhadi playing Termeh.
  • The writing, performances and narrative are stunning—it has the intensity of a thriller.
  • Subjectivity and truth—Nadar has a father with a rapidly degrading Alzheimer’s. After Farhadi shows Nadar at his worst moment (the minute he pushes the Razieh character), the very next shot is of Nadar crying holding his father. Writing like “What is wrong is wrong… No matter who says or where it’s written” from Nadar’s character- giving you a great look at the root of his character.

The final dividing shot is devastating. It is really the first and only transcendent visual in the film- but Farhadi knows what he has here and holds as the credits role. This is Antonioni’s L’Eclisse– physical barriers between the couple. Baumbach would do this in Marriage Story. Here Hatami’s character is in the background left behind the dividing door—and Maadi is in the foreground right in front of the door

  • Highly Recommend/ Must-See border