Everybody Knows  Review: A Rare Misfire From Asghar Farhadi
Bringing Asghar Farhadi's winning streak of top-tier filmmaking to a sudden halt, Everybody Knows is a massive letdown from the Persian filmmaker despite its premise & setting being ripe for the tense & gripping family dramas he loves to assemble around an unexpected tragedy. Far from the quality of storytelling we have come to expect from the esteemed auteur, Farhadi's latest is unfortunately one of his weakest.
From the Academy Award-winning writer-director of A Separation & The Salesman, Everybody Knows brings Asghar Farhadi’s streak of five consecutive masterpieces to a sudden halt, and is an unexpectedly underwhelming feature from the renowned Persian filmmaker that fails to keep us riveted the way his finest works have done in the past.
Written & directed by Asghar Farhadi (also known for Fireworks Wednesday, About Elly & The Past), the premise is ripe for the tense family dramas he likes to concoct around a tragic event but the script isn’t refined enough, the characters aren’t that compelling, and the twists n turns it has in store don’t pack the same emotional wallop that his previous films did.
The film’s saving grace is actually the solid performances that the entire cast chips in with. Penélope Cruz is brilliant throughout and renders her character’s emotional breakdown with finesse. Javier Bardem is also captivating and aptly articulates the inner turmoil his character undergoes as plot progresses. Ricardo Darín, however, is very much wasted in the role and doesn’t get to do much. The remaining cast does well with what they are given.