If anybody’s in the mood to flex a bit of the old grey matter and can stomach ladles of the director’s cynicism, then perhaps the French film ‘The Past’ (Le Passé) may prove a rewarding treat.
When Ahmad, an Iranian man returns to Paris to finalise his divorce with his soon to be ex-wife, he finds that she’s in a relationship with Samir (Tahar Rahim). The story centres on the strained relationship between the woman and her daughter, who disapproves of her mother’s new love. While not the stuff of box office dreams, this widely acclaimed film is garnering accolades far and wide and is regarded as one of the finest examples of storytelling from director Asghar Farhadi. He’s currently at the top of his game for being able to weave a plot full of twists and turns but at its heart, it’s a drama that carefully examines the tangled web of emotional connections between the main characters of two broken households.
Having been nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where its star, Bérénice Bejo, won best actress, it’s a film with pedigree. The performances are intelligent and emotionally compelling, although some will find the abundance of detail and plot surprises a little overwhelming.