#TIFF13: “THE PAST”
After winning raves and nabbing two Awards at Cannes this May including Best Actress, The Past now makes its way to the Toronto International Film Festival. After abandoning his Wife and two Children to return to his Homeland, Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) eventually is asked by his Wife Marie (Bérénice Bejo) to stay with her in order finalize their divorce. Tensions are thick however as their teenage Daughter Lucie (Pauline Burlet) is less than receptive of her Mother remarrying Samir (Tahar Rahim), whose young Son Fouad (Elyes Aguis) also begins acting out as unresolved affairs are brought to light among this evolving Family.
Director/Writer Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) soars in this complex and intriguing Tale told in both French and Persian. There are no gimmicks or effects here, just simply compelling Storytelling. Farhadi examines the detrimental ramifications of past actions among this Ensemble of Characters and more importantly, why they have acted questionably. A few lags in pacing late in the Film if anything make the Audience demand answers more in this Family Drama/Mystery, which is unafraid of examining painful territory. No loose will remain untied in The Past and through this fascinating emotional journey, we too yearn to move forward.
Academy Award Nominee Bejo (The Artist) is startlingly good as often-temperamental yet Marie, grappling with closure and issues of resentment in her own life, while Mosaffa gives us pure compassion and a deep sense of history in his performance as a Father reconciling his troubled past, reuniting with his Family in a clear frame of mind.
Mongrel Media releases The Past in Canada. TIFF Screenings are as follows:
Thursday, September 5, 2013 – 9:30 pm – Elgin
Saturday , September 7, 2013- 8:30 am – Bell Lightbox 1