The 71st Festival de Cannes will open with EVERYBODY KNOWS, a Spanish drama, by the two times Oscar winner and Iranian master Asghar Farhadi starring the power couple of Spanish Cinema, the ever charming Penelope Cruz and the great actor Javier Bardem. Both Cruz and Bardem are Oscar winners.
The film narrates the story of Laura and her husband who live in Buenos Aires with their children. “When they return together to her native village in Spain for a family celebration, an unexpected event changes the course of their lives. The family, its ties and the moral choices imposed on them lie, as in every one of Farhadi’s scripts, at the heart of the plot”.
Asghar’s close observation of the Iranian society, the many moods and emotions of the real people always led to his incisive style of script writing in which he layers the emotions and acts of his characters with the circumstances and pressures imposed on them by the surroundings in myriad ways. In all his films, he approached all his characters with tremendous compassion and kindness.
Let us look at THE SEPARATION in which a husband and wife going through the process of divorce and their daughter at an impressionable age woven through the conflict created by a care giver appointed by the husband to take care of his sick father. The care giver and her husband obtain the same space and careful treatment like the wife and husband. Or, THE SALESMAN, in which an actress performing in Arthur Miller’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN with her husband in the main role is violated in her new residence. The husband is furious and works tirelessly to catch the culprit. The wife would like the incidence to rest and move ahead in life. And what a turn the story takes when the perpetrator is trapped by the husband! The master script writer weaves all the emotions and acts of all his characters in a beautifully balanced Zen like approach, observes in depth into their soul with great empathy, even for the ‘culprit’ bringing his family out to play its part at the right time.
Asghar knows all the nuances and intricacies of Iranian life and the settings. He thoroughly enjoyed exploring all the nooks and corners of a milieu of which he is a part. Was he able to evoke the same emotions in THE PAST, the film he set in France with two of the best actors, Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim?
Now in Spain with some of the best talents, we are waiting for the 8th of May and the Grand Theatre Lumiere to watch Asghar Farhadi weaving his magic once again.