Actors: Tahar Rahim, Ali Mosaffa, Berenice Bejo
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 2
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Run Time: 130 minutes
The most difficult part of watching an Asghar Farhadi film, in my opinion, is getting in the theater or putting the disc in my player. The filmmaking is undeniably captivating, and I am easily drawn into the stories once they begin, but the plot of each makes it a difficult thing to desire seeing. Once again returning to the battleground of emotions amongst lovers who have gone separate ways, The Past is a worthy follow up to Farhadi’s last success, A Separation. The melodrama unfolds in a manner that almost makes the narrative a mystery as well, which helps immensely in making the difficult story more fascinating.
Ali Mosaffa stars as an Iranian man named Ahmad who separates from his wife to move back home, while his French wife, Marie (Bérénice Bejo), begins a new relationship with a man that looks similar to him. The selfishly childish nature of Marie was the most troubling aspect of the film for me, as she pits her ex-husband against her new lover, Samir (Tahar Rahim), all the while oblivious to the impact the shuffling has on her children. Ahmad enters the situation without warning, despite Marie’s many excuses. The longer Ahmad is around, the more he is able to peel back the layers of drama in Marie’s new situation, including a comatose wife that Samir has along with his newfound relationship.
There are a lot of serious themes built into the melodrama of The Past, giving more depth and meaning to the situation. Farhadi once again shows an ability to use human emotions as tools of suspense, all the way to the final scene. It makes no difference that he has made a film in
with The Past, because it only proves
that some human drama is truly universal. France
The Blu-ray release includes a commentary track with Farhadi, as well as a Q&A with the filmmaker at the Director’s Guild of America. The special features also include a generic making-of featurette.
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 8.5/10
Historical Significance: 7/10
Special Features: 7/10