Social strictures loom large in Iranian director Farhadi’s ‘About Elly’, a film that defies prejudices in its early scenes of lively young Iranians leaving Tehran for a holiday by the sea. Tagging along is Elly (Alidousti), a teacher whom one of the women, Sepideh (Farahani), has invited in the hope that she’ll hit it off with divorced Ahmad (Hosseini). If it all sounds too modern to be true, it is: things go wrong when one of them has an accident and this group’s bubble is burst. The writing and direction lean towards the obvious, but there’s much to chew on regarding tradition, progress and the power of the white lie. The film’s energy, hysteria even, may surprise those whose diet of Iranian film has been served solely by European art house cinema.
Cast and crew