Nader and Simin, A Separation - Will it strike Oscar Gold ?

Language - Persian
Genre - Drama, Mystery
**ing - Peyman Moaadi, Leila Hatami and Sareh Bayat
Release - 2011

Nader and Simin, A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin) - Release PosterNader and Simin, A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin), Asghar Farhadi's follow up to the brilliant 2009 mystery drama About Elly, is already gathering a lot of steam as one of the top contenders at the forth-coming Academy Awards even before the nominations for the Best Foreign Film has been finalized. For it's part, A Separation has already won the Golden Bear at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival, enjoys a 100% Fresh Rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and more importantly has been announced as the Official Iranian submission for the Academy Awards.

Leila Hatami and Peyman Moaadi in 'A Separation
A Separation begins with a scene from the perspective of a divorce lawyer. Simin (Leila Hatami) pleads for a divorce from her husband Nader (Peyman Moadi) so that she could leave the country with her teenage daughter for a better future, and because Nader isn't willing to come with them. But Nader has his reasons; his old father is suffering from Alzeimer's and Nader just couldn't leave his sick father alone. Their daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) also decides to stay with her father, not because of a preference, but in a desperate attempt to not let them get separated. But Nader's troubles are just starting as he employs a woman Razieh (Sareh Bayat) from a lower income class, using a contact provided by Simin, to look after her father.

Shahab Hosseini in Asghar Farhadi's Golden Bear winning 'A Separation' An altercation between Nader and Razieh takes a turn for the worse as they find themselves facing each other in the court, and possible jail sentences.  Adding to Nader's woes is the short tempered and unempolyed husband of Razieh, Houjat ( Shahab Hosseini).

Nader and Simin, A Separation has an extremely busy narrative. It's talkative and most of the characters have interesting dimensions that delves in shades of grey driven by circumstances. For an outsider, it also provides an interesting insight to the class divide, aspects of social structure and legal proceedings in Iran. But, the movie has a wider appeal with it's universal themes of trust, values, honor, religion and family relationships. This is an intense and thought-provoking drama with captivating performances, that truly deserves all the accolades it has garnered thus far, and ahead.