The Past

Director: Asghar Farhadi
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 3.5

Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa), who is Iranian, returns to France to finalize his divorce from Marie (Bérénice Bejo) - who he's been separated from for years - only to walk into a tense and complicated scenario involving Marie's fiancé's wife (who is in a coma) and a lot of secrets being held in by several people. Farhadi, with intense empathy for all his creations (regardless of how troubled they may be), understands the way truth is "revealed," slowly and in bits and pieces (after much investigative work) - likewise, the 'past' of the title that they all try to escape from eventually chases them down and needs to be confronted. Just like A Separation, this seems like a superb example of theater-as-cinema (in the best possible way) and the scenario in question reads like a smartened up, emotionally muted soap opera (in the best possible way). The ending is tragically ambiguous: decisions have consequences.