Film / About Elly

A 2009 Iranian drama directed by Asghar Farhadi.

Three couples and two friends go on a holiday to the seaside: Sepideh and Amir, Shohreh and Peyman, and Nazy and Manuchehr. Sepideh planned the trip, and also invited Elly, her daughter's kindergarten teacher, whom she hopes to pair up with another friend, Ahmad.

Elly is shy, but soon begins to be attracted to Ahmad. Everybody seems to be having a good time, despite the fact that they are isolated and have no connection to the outside world.

Then Elly disappears...

This film contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: A friend you trusted to watch your kid disappearing, and the kid very nearly drowning.
  • An Aesop: Don't interfere with other people's lives.
  • Disposable FiancÚ: Sepideh believes in this trope, but the movie is a fairly brutal Deconstrution of the idea.
  • Domestic Abuse: Amir hits Sepideh when he realizes that she had lied to them about many things. The others are horrified, and it is pretty clear that he hasn't done this before and only did because of the incredible stress they are all under.
    • Sepideh claims that Elly's fiance was emotionally abusive. We only have her word for this, and the others get a much more favourable impression of him.
  • Establishing Group Dynamic Moment: The way the characters all vote on how to manage the change in holiday plan at the beginning foreshadows how they vote on what to tell Elly's fiance at the end.
  • Hope Spot: When the others find that Elly's luggage is missing, they think that she may have gone back to Tehran. Turns out Sepideh hid it to force Elly to stay.
  • Liar Revealed: All of Sepideh's lies come out one by one after Elly disappears.
  • The Matchmaker: Sepideh.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Everything Sepideh does.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Elly. Played for Drama, as the police officer is incredulous that her "friends" know so little of Elly that they don't even know her first name.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Why Elly ever went into the sea, though it might have been to save Arash.
    • A gunshot is heard just before [[elly drowns]]. No one mentions this.
  • Smithical Marriage: Sepideh claims that Ahmad and Elly are married, as it is illegal in Iran for unmarried couples to holiday together.
  • Title Drop: "What shall we tell him about Elly?"