News ID: 239168
Published: 0348 GMT February 20, 2019

Old wounds are still fresh in 'Everybody Knows'

Old wounds are still fresh in 'Everybody Knows'

Iranian dramatist Asghar Farhadi makes films about secrets; the unforgivable kind that tears families apart, dissolves marriages and rattles entire communities. His flawed characters perform elaborate attempts to hide the truth, but in doing so they only further complicate situations already rife with tension and surprise.

'Everybody Knows', Farhadi's latest thriller, is set in Spain and seems modest compared to his previous familial potboilers ('A Separation', 'The Salesman'). But the film has plenty of untold truths of its own. Told mostly in linear fashion and without the crutch of narrative twists, it's a deceptively crushing tale of old wounds and spite lobbed between residents of a rural town near Madrid, reported.

Laura (Penélope Cruz) returns to her working class childhood home with her teenage daughter Irene (Carla Campra) and young son Diego (Iván Chavero) to attend a family wedding. She left years before to marry a wealthy Argentine businessman (Ricardo Darin), much to the dismay of Paco (Javier Bardem), an old flame and local winery owner with complicated business ties to her family.

At first, 'Everybody Knows' revels in the sundrenched celebration of wedding day bliss. The ensemble of characters becomes increasingly more inebriated, partying well into the night. Irene suddenly disappears and Laura begins to receive threatening texts from an unknown source.

Like many Hitchcock films, the inciting criminal incident exists simply to activate dangerous feelings people have long tried to repress. The smiling faces of a picturesque village gradually turn sour with accusations and threats flying in all directions. Paco becomes the lighting rod for much of this animosity.

This isn't Farhadi's tightest script; messy subplots and redundant dialogue exchanges make 'Everybody Knows' (opening Friday, February 22 at Angelika Film Centers Carmel Mountain) feel bloated at times. Much more interesting are the ways in which it reveals issues of class through both passive and overt aggressions. Those seemingly petty squabbles are just entry points into something much more menacing.


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