Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
Writer/director Asghar Farhadi offers this revealing look at the Iranian middle class by examining how one simple lie can open up a Pandora's box of problems. In the wake of his failed marriage in Germany, Ahmad (Shahab Hosseini) returns to Tehran. With the holidays approaching, Ahmad's friend Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani) organizes a weekend getaway to the Caspian Sea with a group of old college friends. But one member of the group sticks out like a sore thumb: she's a pretty kindergarten teacher named Elly (Taraneh Alidousti), and Sepideh thought she would be a perfect match for Ahmad. In order to rent a spacious beach house for the group to share, Sepideh told the elderly landlady that Ahmad and Elly were newlyweds. But the truth is Elly has never even met Ahmad, and she doesn't share a close bond with the rest of the friends. Strangely enough, on the very first night of the trip Elly naturally endears herself to the tight-knit group. The following day, however, Elly vanishes without a trace, sparking a frantic search that sours the festivities, and revealing the casual deceits that are shared amongst friends.