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THE PAST (review)


Written and Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Starring Berenice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mosaffa

Samir: When two people see each other after four year and are still fighting, there is something unresolved between them.

Whether we like to admit it or not, there are some things and people that should just remain part of our pasts. Still, at times, it is unavoidable to leave our past where it belongs and we must bring it back into our lives. This is where Marie (Berenice Bejo) finds herself in THE PAST, Asghar Farhadi’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning A SEPARATION. It isn’t long before her past’s resurgence shines a light on how far from perfect her present is as well.

Bejo is spectacular as Marie, in her first major role since her international breakout in THE ARTIST. When we first meet her, all we know is that she is reasonably stressed out by her estranged husband (Ali Mosaffa) coming into town to sign their divorce papers. It is clear from her demeanour and tone that the reunion itself is difficult for her and that there are certain wounds between them that have yet to fully heal. Before too long, we learn that her worries do not end there, as her teenage daughter (Pauline Burlet) is becoming too much for her to handle and her new boyfriend, Samir (Tahar Rahim), who is oddly similar to her soon to be ex, is struggling with their new living arrangements. This is a woman on the verge of emotional collapse who is trying any which way she can to maintain some semblance of control over her live. Bejo nails this delicate divide brilliantly.


Much like Farhadi’s last film, THE PAST reveals itself to us incrementally as we go along with it. As each layer of this complicated scenario is peeled away, another can be seen in the distance. Farhadi does take this a tad too far as the revelations do tend to tire a bit by the end, but this hardly undoes the careful planning Farhadi put in place with this project. He is a deliberate filmmaker and he proves with THE PAST that he has a bright future.


Your turn!

How many sheep would you give The Past?


One Comment

  1. like a classical music piece… the film took its time unveiling all the many elements in the story and Farhadi brought them all to a brilliant crescendo..

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