TIFF 2013 Review: The Past
Asghar Farhadi’s follow-up to the acclaimed A Separation will draw comparisons and contrasts, but should not be judged against 2011 award winner that looms above. The Past is intimate, intricate, a tragic, as a divorce is finalized between Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) and Marie (Bérénice Bejo) and both try to finally move on with their lives.
The drawn out tale follows the couple much of the way as they skirt the line between love and hate, with Ahmad visiting Marie in Paris and reuniting with her children. A new figure has entered into the picture though: Marie’s current beau and future husband in Samir. He is familiar too though, an Iranian immigrant like Ahmad with similar personality traits. He seems to be just one way Marie is clinging to the past.
When the rain isn’t falling, a cloudy sky looms over the characters, as both men, who are neither quite fathers nor husbands, look to play a role in Marie’s life. While the film strangely shifts between Ahmad and Samir, tension builds slowly and methodically throughout. It is a fearful and almost helpless decent for Marie as she confronts the two men in her life as well as her rebellious teenage daughter. Bejo is emotionally arresting as the plagued woman looking to start fresh.
A chronicle of love, marriage, dedication, as characters deal with the successes and failures of the path they have forged, The Past is a dramatic look at a struggling woman’s life, potent and full of meaning.
Thursday September 5 – Visa Screening Room (Elgin) – 9:30 PM
Saturday September 7 – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 – 10:30 AM