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The Past


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Product Details

  • Actors: Berenice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Ali Mosaffa
  • Directors: Asghar Farhadi
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00HE1EDO2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,551 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
31%
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See all 16 customer reviews
Skillfully written, well cast and acted.
PKinORD
Farhadi demonstrates further that his ability to dissect family interactions and question ethical behavior among his characters is unmatched.
Grady Harp
Everyone tells their version of the truth, but they do not explain everything.
Dr. Laurence Raw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 14, 2014
Format: DVD
"The Past" (2013 release from France; 130 min.) brings the story of Ahmad and Marie. As the movie opens, Marie is picking up Ahmad at the airport. We soon learn that Ahmad is visiting Paris from Tehran to finalize their divorce (at Marie's behest as she wants to remarry). Almost immediately they start arguing about minute details. Marie is letting Ahmad stay at her house in suburban Paris. Marie's two daughters from a prior relationship, young Lea and 16 yr. old Lucie, are happy to see Ahmad again, as it's been 4 years since he and Marie broke up. Lucie is having a very difficult time with her mom Marie, who is in a relationship with Samir, a drycleaner owner whose wife is in a coma and who has a young son. About 45 min. into the movie, Marie and Ahmad meet with the judge who pronounces them officially divorced. What will become of Marie and Ahmed? Will Marie marry Samir? Can Marie and Lucie patch over their difference? And how did Samir's wife actually get onto a coma? To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first, this is the latest movie from writer-director Asghar Farhadi, whose previous film, 2011's "A Separation" was fantastic (and won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film). "The Past", while very different in details and tone, is nevertheless in the same vein as "A Separation", as both movies document a powerful family and relationship drama. Second, it's not clear whether tit was the director's intent, but the movie shows the problems that can come from "mixed families", as in: kids from multiple relationship, have a hard time and are never the winners in these relationship dramas.
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Format: DVD
Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi has hit the mark again with THE PAST - a film equal to if not superior to his Oscar winning A SEPARATION. Why this brilliant movie was not nominated for an Oscar is a serious conundrum. Farhadi demonstrates further that his ability to dissect family interactions and question ethical behavior among his characters is unmatched.

Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa), an Iranian man deserted his French wife and her two children to return to his homeland, returns to Paris four years later at his wife's request: his wife Marie (Bérénice Bejo) is in a new relationship with an Arab man, the dry cleaners' owner Samir (Tahar Rahim), a reality her husband confronts upon his wife's request for a divorce. Coming back to accomplish the divorce procedure, Ahmad arrives in Paris to meet his ex-wife and her daughters - 16 year old Lucie (Pauline Burlet) and the very young Léa (Jeanne Jestin) from her previous marriage - only to discover that Lucie has defensive behavior and resents the fact that Samir and his young son Fouad (Elyes Aguis) are living in her home. Marie pleads with Ahmad to speak with Lucie to assess and correct her bizarre behavior (both of Marie's children relate well to the warmly tender and understanding Ahmad, despite his unexpected absence form their family for four years). Ahmad discovers that Samir is still married - his wife is in a coma for the past eight months due to a suicide attempt - and Lucie's behavior, superficially because she blames Marie's and Samir's affair as the cause of Samir's wife's suicide, makes living in the same house with Marie and Samir intolerable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lemons on January 22, 2014
Format: DVD
This Golden Globe nominee was sadly ignored as an Oscar contender. Iranian director Asghar Farhadi directs this complex, multi-layered production with sensitivity and insight, which deserves a nod. Berenice Bejo won Best Actress at Cannes.

Ahmad (Ali Moutaffa) returns to Paris from Iran to finalize his divorce from Marie (Berenice Bejo), who is in a relationship with another Iranian man, Samir (Tahar Rahim). Ahmad is fond of Marie's daughters from a previous marriage, particularly Lucie (Pauline Burlet) the older daughter. He has an easy way with children generally, trying to connect with Samir's troubled son Fouad (Elyes Aguis), who lives with them. Lea (Jeanne Jestin), the younger daughter's character is peripheral.

Ahmad quickly becomes embroiled in Marie's dysfunctional domestic dynamic, coerced into acting as mediator between mother and daughter. Lucie does not approve of Marie's relationship with Samir (no spoilers here) and starts to act out.

Marie is not really concerned for her children - she comes first. It is apparent that while none of the children are Ahmad's, he is by far the better parent. Marie's request for Ahmed to be present for the divorce to be finalized is a thinly veiled appeal for assistance, as her life unravels.

However, Marie's apparent feistiness belies a deep vulnerability. The two gentle men in her life are stronger by far than she is. She is the perfect foil for them to prove their worth, but we feel for her too, even though she is initially unlikeable.

The ending is somewhat unresolved - it is up to the viewer to decide.

Asghar Farhadi's expert touch and impressive resume (A Separation won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards) make this movie memorable.
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