2019 Film Reviews - 19: Everybody Knows [dir. Asghar Farhadi; 2018]

In A Separation - and, to some extent, About Elly - Asghar Farhadi displayed an exceptional talent for creating full-bodied characters - possessed of lucidly delineated motivations - and weaving them into a story that flows with the organic inevitability of life itself. There’s no doubt that his skill is in evidence within the sun-baked, Spanish setting of Everybody Knows: as its tale of a girl abducted at a wedding takes ever more sinister turns, family revelations and age-old animosities emerge with affecting, Hardy-esque credibility. But because he decided to structure this particular plot in the form of a whodunnit, there comes a point when Farhadi has to give in to genre demands and tie up loose ends that are far less intriguing thdaran some of the other threads his script unravels. It would probably have been more interesting if he’d chosen to leave the central question unresolved, placing us more closely in the position of many of the film’s characters, who will never know the full details of the events they’ve experienced and will almost certainly have to carry their ignorance with them forever. I dare say that would have made this a more haunting, more unsettling piece of work.



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