Everybody Knows movie review: Not a masterpiece but unique for its acting

everybody knows movie review

Everybody Knows movie review – The film tells the story of Laura and her two children from Argentina to Spain to attend her sister’s wedding. However, the reunion turns to tragedy when her eldest daughter is kidnapped. Let’s see the Everybody Knows movie review about the acting as well as the plot of the movie!

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Overview of the film “Everybody Knows”

everybody knows film reviews

  • IMDb rating: 6.9/10
  • Genre: Drama, crime, mystery
  • Director: Asghar Farhadi
  • Writer: Asghar Farhadi
  • Stars: Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darín

 “Everybody Knows” movies summary

everybody knows movie cast

Before going into the Everybody Knows movie review, let’s take a look at the movie briefly. Laura (Penelope Cruz) is the protagonist of the film, and she returns to her Spanish homeland with her teenage daughter and infant boy from Argentina for her sister’s much-anticipated wedding.

Laura is reunited with her loving family and old acquaintances, including the son of their former family servant Paco, on this happy occasion (Javier Bardem). However, things take a deadly turn when Laura’s daughter mysteriously vanishes during the wedding celebration, and a terrifying kidnapping plan emerges, with everyone as a suspect.

Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian filmmaker who won two Academy Awards for A Separation and The Salesman, directs a very efficient and engaging mystery thriller that makes the most of his performers’ skills.

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The Everybody Knows movie review

The cast of  “Everybody knows” film

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Cruz is at her most expressive in this film, portraying Laura with such vivacity in the early joyful sequences but also delivering hysterics and tense dread as the narrative unfolds into every parent’s worst nightmare.

Paco is a quietly resilient, honorable, and lovable man who felt he had moved on from the past, and alongside Cruz is an outstanding turn by Bardem.

As distant individuals are pushed together by ancient secrets and terrifying present circumstances, the real-life pair create strong chemistry that is unmistakable but not overbearing.

The two are backed up by a strong supporting cast, the greatest of which is Barbara Lennie’s portrayal of Paco’s wife, Bea, who the viewer will find both skeptical and sympathetic.

Farhadi also captures how a small-town community may seem so close, yet although this can be comforting, it can also be dangerous, as the townsfolk talk and know each other’s secrets, even when the subjects of those secrets are unaware they are being gossiped about.

Script of “Everybody knows”

everybody knows movie review 2

As a result, “Everybody knows” movie is more of a parlor-room jigsaw puzzle than a thriller, in which Farhadi wants spectators to undertake their detective work from a sparse amount of delicately introduced clues. The criminals are only seen once, and even then, it feels like a slap in the face, considering how little the film cares about bringing them to justice. However, we can’t help but speculate as to who is to blame, and the case inexorably widens in our minds as Laura learns that her daughter was most likely drugged and taken by someone close to the family.

This is a film filled with immense passion, but instead of erupting in cathartic eruptions, it swallows our heroes to the point of paralysis. Nicole Kidman said in Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” that she sobbed for hours while prepping for a close-up. Cruz is as shattered and passionately protective as the heartbroken sibling she played in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” for most of Farhadi’s film. Bardem has rarely been so vulnerable on screen, and his portrayal of a massive man in the throes of a raging torrent is simply sad. It’s like seeing melting glaciers collapse into the ocean, watching him take in abrupt and distressingly awful knowledge. 

Though Paco’s wife, Bea (a feisty Bárbara Lennie), provides a pleasant counterweight to the smothering anxiety, the most life-altering truths are either muttered or manifest in the form of an untraceable text. Her grounded perspective may not be well-informed, but Farhadi presents it without prejudice, highlighting how convincing her comments are from a certain standpoint. The filmmaker’s admiration for Arthur Miller informs his multi-layered characters, who are neither heroes nor villains. Even though there are almost too many ensemble members to keep track of on first watching, none of them radiate the type of plastic villainy that is readily discarded.

everybody knows movie review

Meanwhile, Farhadi investigates the buried past between Paco and Laura, which creates tremendous fascination on the periphery. This is where he shines as a director, and while the film takes a while to get to the point where its disclosures can have an impact, once they do, it becomes engrossing. Although “Everybody Knows” expands the setting to encompass villas, vineyards, bustling plazas, and country roads, the overly-scripted human conversations appear more theatrical than ever, choosing to expose information as fits his goals.

Cruz may have the more prominent part, but both Bardem and Darn end up baring their souls in extraordinary ways. Paco, on the other hand, gets so concerned about returning his ex-girlfriend that he appears prepared to risk everything to pay the ransom, much to the chagrin of his wife (Bárbara Lennie). Alejandro, on the other hand, has a different mindset, believing that God would relieve them from their predicament — a reaction that many dismiss until the fantastic scene in which he tells how his God intervened once before at a pivotal juncture in his life.

“Everybody Knows” isn’t an instant classic, but just a small percentage of films are. It’s beautifully played, wonderfully challenging, and always captivating. It’s no surprise that when Farhadi tours the world with his films, he encounters audiences that have identical emotions no matter where they live. Few directors have ever been as adept at demonstrating how much we share more in common than we would have imagined.

Hopefully, after reading the Everybody Knows movie review, you will love the movie more. In addition, you can find a lot of Spanish film reviews, and top lists at Spanishlanguagemovie.com.