When I knew Astro First is screening 'A Separation', a highly acclaimed Iranian film this month without hesitation I tuned in to Channel 480 to purchase the movie that had won the Golden Bear Award for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival and went on to win the Oscar at the 84th Academy Award for the Best Foreign Film earlier this year. At the Berlin Film Festival too both the lead actor and actress won the Silver Bear Awards for the Best Actor and Best Actress.
Saya memang suka menonton filem-filem dari Iran ni. Walau pun pace dia a bit slow dan tanpa background music tetapi terselit nilai-nilai Islam serta memberi gambaran, suasana sekeliling kehidupan seharian masyarakat di sana.
Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, it is not so much the story of a husband and wife’s separation as it is the story of what happens, in part, as a result of it — a tragic event in which nobody is truly at fault, yet everybody is quick to point a finger. Peyman Maadi plays Nader, the husband, who is dutifully caring for his elderly father even though he can’t remember his own son (or anything else, for that matter). Nader’s wife Simin (Leila Hatami) seeks a divorce because she wishes to take her daughter out of Iran, somewhere that’s a bit less restrictive in its values. Nader wants to stay —and the judge sides with him. Thus, a separation. (Nader will soon find himself unexpectedly agreeing with his wife’s frustrations, however.)
A third key character is Razieh (Sareh Bayat), who takes a job as housekeeper when Simin moves out. Her duties include taking care of Nader’s father, a task she finds overwhelming for a variety of reasons. But when Nader hires Razieh (Sareh Bayat), a pregnant, impoverished woman to take care of his father, things turn ugly when he suspects her of negligence regarding the elderly man. When Nader is involved in Razieh falling down the stairs, he becomes key suspect in her miscarriage. In his plight to prove his innocence, the family’s life begins to fall apart as everyone’s morals come into question.
Kesian tengok si Nader ni mandikan ayahnya, serba serbi macam jaga budak kecik lagaknya. Agaknya si Simin tu dah boring dan penat jaga pak mertua tu yang nak berhijrah ke negara lain. Semasa pertengkaran di mahkamah Simin ada menyebut yang ayah Nader sudah tidak kenal dan tidak ingat siapa anaknya lagi tapi dijawab Nader yang dia masih kenal siapa ayahnya.
Termeh yang tersepit ditengah konflik ibubapanya. Early in the film she chose to stay with her father whilst Simin moves out to stay with her parents when her application for divorce was rejected by the family court as the judge considered the case as a weak one and thus the separation.
Reviews on the film which are mostly from western movie critics found this film as riveting, highly engrossing and an eye opening experience that gives a fascinating glimpse into a culture that is alien to their eyes. As for my review .... the scenes depicted in A Separation is easily recognizable in any Muslim society. Our religious conscience will always have the upper hand in whatever we do, like the scene where Razieh calling up an ustaz or whoever it was who certainly had more knowledge if it is alright for her to help clean up an elderly man who is clearly not her mahram. The guilty conscience of Razieh when asked by Nader to swear on the Al Quran that it was him who caused her miscarriage...that is all so familiar here in our Muslim society.
The last scene of the film left me puzzled... which parent did Termeh chose to stay with? A highly watchable film that I would say....