Ahmad, an Iranian man, who deserted his wife and two daughters years ago to venture to his homeland, returns to Paris to finalize a divorce. When he arrives at his wife Marie's residence Ahmad is confronted with the realization that his wife has met someone new, which becomes further complicated when Marie's older daughter expresses her disdain for her mother's new partner. Asghar Farhadi's films are so rich from a character perspective and The Past is certainly no different. Nearly every character in The Past is incredibly well defined, each with their own faults, ambitions and insecurities. On the surface The Past sounds like a small and contained story but Asghar Farhadi has created a narrative that is dense, intriguing and dare I say epic. While there is no denying the strong filmmaking in The Past, it is a film thats thematic intentions are not nearly as impressive as its narrative precision. What separates his earlier work is the lack of melodrama, with the Past having a few scenes that suffer from overindulgence in the theatrics department. Compared to most filmmakers Farhadi's direction could be classified as reserved, but don't mistake that for banality. Farhadi's direction is very assured and subtly brilliant, picking his moments which only makes these stylistic moments all the more powerful. The Past is not a near masterwork like some of his other films, but it's another very strong entry further establishing Farhadi as a one of the best contemporary narrative filmmakers.
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