Thursday, July 12, 2012

About Elly (2009) - Iranian Movie

Some Directors are one of a kind story teller – Asghar Farhadi, is one of them – last I saw was his fantastic movie “A Separation” and today – I finally saw “About Elly”. They pick up a very simple and straight forward story but will tell you the same in such a beautiful way that they you end up seeing and calling them no less than a perfect thriller. This was almost 120 minutes long so I was in a little relaxed mood expecting it to be another simple Iranian movie as I saw quite a few this year. But this turns out to be a damn good thriller which had me sitting straight on my chair and taking stock of the situation as what went wrong and what’s going to happen next, beyond my imagination and horror. A simple middle class group of friends with their families on a weekend vacation at a beach house get stuck in a situation where no one knows what happened to one of their friends, who was with them and suddenly who disappears – is she dead? Did she leave them? One thing leads to another, so much of chaos and confusion later – we come to a conclusion in the very last minute of the movie which is indeed shocking. It’s a must watch for all thriller lovers especially who love the simplicity of Iranian movies and this guy in particular. Do not miss it.

The Movie: A group of middle class Iranian friends go on a three day vacation with their families. They are three married couples with three young kids. They are joined by another friend of them who has recently come from Germany after he was divorced by his German wife. They had actually invited one of their kid’s teachers too to the vacation who they plan to hook up with this friend during the vacation because as per them – both of them were a perfect match. The trip was planned by Sepideh and they go to the villa booked by her but to their shock they are told that the owner of the villa is coming back in a day and they would not be able to get that for their vacation. But they were advised to go to a deserted villa on the beach which required a bit of repairs to make it livable. They agree to it and Sepideh introduces her kid’s teacher and the new arrived friend as recently married and were on their honeymoon. On the first day of vacation both the guy and the girl develop attraction but girl insists on going back home the very next day. To stop her from doing so, Sepideh hides her bad in her closet as she and her other friend go out shopping, the guys play the game of volleyball in the backyard, the tragedy strikes. The kids were playing on the beach and one of the lady was watching them over, she goes inside for a moment leaving Elly the in charge of the kids. Elly helps the other two kids flying a kite while the younger one goes in the sea and drowns. By the time the kids tell their parents about the accident even Elly is no where to be found. What happens to Elly? Is she drowned too saving the kid? Or she leaves them as she was talking of going back home anyways?

Once the ladies return from their shopping and they start putting two and two together of what happened in the last one day – it leads to lot of facts that she may have felt offended and would have gone back. They search for her the whole day with the help of the coast guard – somehow the kid is saved but Elly is nowhere to be found. When the cops come in – they realize that none of them had any idea of her full name – let alone any other information. One by one – they come across a lots of facts which were never their in the story earlier – further eye popping information comes across and this becomes a serious chase to know what happened to her and where is she now? It’s a damn good movie yet very simplistic in treatment but it keeps you hooked to it big time. I totally loved it and will recommend it with two thumbs up. Their discussions – the tension between friends – the little fights. Its such a simple everyday stuff that we all face in our regular life but how it changes their life once and for all is outstanding to see. Especially how the Director handles all his characters with such great depths and what fantastic performances from all of them – who come so strong in all those characters. Especially the beautiful girl who plays Sepideh in lead, whose idea was the whole vacation and planning and the one who plays Elly is totally rocking. Sepdideh’s husband and Ahmad as the friend are two damn good actors and too close to the reality.

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