With one woman’s lie, one’s disappearance, and tensions high, you are presented a Muslim version of what seems like a familiar story.
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Writer: Asghar Farhadi (screenplay), Azad Jafarian, and Asghar Farhadi (story)
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani) has invited her friend Elly (Taraneh Alidoosti) to join her friends and family on a three-day vacation. One in which she planned to try to match Elly with Ahmad (Shahab Hosseini) since he is recently separated and saw them as a good match. However, during one day at the beach, everything goes wrong. Thus leading to Sepideh having to reveal more about Elly than she cares to, and her being forced to take responsibility for the lies and actions she hid from the group.
As I find myself increasingly watching more and more foreign language movies, I find myself seeing more similarities to English counterparts. However, with About Elly, there is a spin here dealing with the fact the cast is Muslim and it brings certain cultural specific thoughts, issues, and circumstances. All of which make this slightly more interesting than if it was another English American movie, but only but so far.
When it comes to issues with this film, honestly it maybe more so me, in terms of what I like as a movie goer than the film itself. For, as can be seen in many a criticism, once a film goes over an hour and a half, 9/10 I will note the film overstayed its welcome. An issue which undoubtedly is in About Elly since it lacks any sort of intriguing drama at all. For even as Sepideh reveals her and Elly’s secrets, and we meet someone from Elly’s life, there remains this complacent tone which makes you feel sleepy and drowsy.
Something which isn’t helped by how difficult it is to uniquely identify most of the characters. For while the men can be slightly identified by their hair grooming, and some by their weak storylines, the women largely are ghostly figures. Which isn’t to say they don’t have a place in the film, for Sepideh and Elly are the two main figures, outside of Ahmad, but unless you take notes I’d say it may take longer than it should to know who is who of the cast.
Overall: Skip It
Is there anything seriously wrong with this film? No. However, there isn’t much done with this film to really constitute you investing 2 hours of your time, and the price, to see it. For while the acting is decent, and the story is OK, this really has no selling point besides it having a Muslim cast. Take that away and you have your usual melodrama which doesn’t really take advantage of the many avenues it could, and it just leaves you drained and kicking yourself for wasting your time. Hence the Skip it label for while it seemed like it could have been interesting, I finished the film sorely disappointed.