When you see Asghar Farhadi’s name attached to a film you should know it is a stamp of approval of the film’s quality. About Elly is the fourth film written and directed by Farhadi and the immediate predecessor to the highly decorated A Separation.
Set in Northern Iran, a group of friends and their families holiday at a coastal house situated right on the Caspian Sea. Elly (Taraneh Alidoosti) is invited along by her friend Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani) with the intention of being set up with recently divorced Ahmad (Shahab Hosseini). Elly is shy and finds the group encouraging their romance awkward but remains polite and civil, despite obvious chatter behind her back. Elly continues to feel out of place and tells her friend, Sepideh and others, that she intends to return to Tehran earlier than planned.
To explain the rest of the plot is to spoil the film, all I will hint at is the film is usually categorised as a ‘Mystery’ film and is very entertaining. The film is wonderfully directed with a stellar cast of top Iranian actors. It is also the perfect accompaniment to warm up for A Separation if you haven’t seen that either.