2018 Drama/Thriller; Spanish 2hrs 13 mins Cert: 15
Director: Asghar FarhadI
Described as a riveting kidnapping thriller and whodunit, Farhadi’s (‘The Separation’; ‘The Salesman’) latest film takes a simple scenario of a kidnapping as its centre. It reunites smouldering “Jamon, Jamon” co-stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem as ex-lovers with an unresolved history- and uses it to peel the onion of its characters’ private lives, uncovering all manner of secrets.
Laura and her children have come back from Argentina to her native Spain to attend a family wedding, leaving her husband Alejandro behind to look for work. Laura’s daughter, Irene disappears, the only clue being a pile of newspapers clippings about a previous kidnapping. Laura is understandably distraught.
As attempts are made to resolve the crime, the kidnapping functions as a device through which to explore the dynamics between the remaining characters. The longer she stays missing, the deeper Faradhi can probe the fissures of their past. New cracks keep appearing in unexpected places, some more resonant than others, but they are mere vessels for a fascinating dive, deep into the perils of hidden information.