Everybody Knows (15)

Everybody Knows (15)

Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 8th March 2019

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This film has had mixed reviews but I was impressed by this latest offering by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi.

The story is set in a small-town setting within the scenic Spanish wine-making part of the country. It is the time of the year when the grapes are being picked.

It centres around the kidnapping of Irene (Carla Campra), daughter of Laura, played by a less than charismatic Penelope Cruz, during a family wedding celebration.

She is held to ransom by the kidnappers but no one has the money to pay it, except for Paco (Javier Bardem), a former lover of Laura.

Questions are asked as to why Paco is prepared to pay such a large sum of money for the release of someone he has no connection with, except for the fact that she is the daughter of an ex-lover.

The film then pinpoints the lies and falsehoods of the families attending he wedding.

As Farhadi commented, the real focus of Everybody Knows is not so much on the crime but in how people treat each other, and the hypocrisies families have maintained to keep themselves viable.

Among the impressive acting roles is the one played by an ex-cop (Jose Angel Egido), who can see beyond the facile nature of the people he questions in regard to the kidnapping.

Some observers of the film have criticised Farhadi for including too many surprises in the plot.

in my view that is a major plus point. You are not sure in what direction the movie is going.

This is especially so in the concluding ten minutes or so, which leaves one wondering who is innocent and who is guilty regarding Irene’s kidnapping.

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