About Elly

Just prior to the Oscar-winning A Separation, Asghar Farhadi directed this 2009 drama, and though not as tightly constructed as its successor, it’s another suspenseful domestic intrigue deeply rooted in traditional Iranian mores and social codes. Three married couples and their young children embark on a weekend getaway to a rundown villa on the Caspian Sea, bringing along a bachelor friend and setting him up with Elly, a kindergarten teacher to one of the children. When the woman disappears, her hosts can’t tell whether she has drowned or simply fled the awkward situation; their search for an answer is greatly complicated, and their propriety greatly compromised, when her hitherto unknown fiance arrives on the scene. An opening-credit sequence shot inside a ballot box, and apparently alluding to the disputed 2009 presidential election, adds a puzzling and unnecessary political gloss to a story whose personal politics are gripping enough already. With Golshifteh Farahani, Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, and Peyman Moaadi (star of A Separation) in his screen debut. In Persian with subtitles.