Film Review – The Salesman (2016)

Title – The Salesman aka Forushande (2016)

Director – Asghar Farhadi (A Separation)

Cast – Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi

Plot – Husband and wife Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Alidoosti) find their life unravelling after Rana is the victim of a violent assault in the couple’s new apartment building.

“Don’t worry about it, it’s just the first 100 years that are tough”

Review by Eddie on 15/11/2017

Winner of this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar at the Academy Awards, The Salesman continues on Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s stunning recent collection of dramatic works that includes fellow Oscar winner A Separation and Golden Globe nominee The Past.

An intense and intimate drama that veers into a character driven and decision making thriller in its later stages, Farhadi’s film focusses on the fractured relationship that begins to build between married couple Emad and Rana Etesami after Rana is violently assaulted in the couples new rental property.

Brilliantly played by Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti respectively, Emad and Rana are both believable characters and well-drawn ones, staples of Farhadi’s ever increasing strong body of works, and their separate journey’s in learning to deal with and overcome this violation of their lives is one you as an audience member will be drawn into like a moth to a flame.

Emad who’s initially a strong and respectable figure, a beloved teacher and theatre actor (the title of this film relates to Emad and Rana’s role in a stage production of The Death of a Salesman) finds himself increasingly captivated by the quest to find the perpetrator of the assault on Rana, that slowly but surely unravels his usual in-command lifestyle, while Rana’s mental mindset and ability to cope with the trauma of this event sees her become a shell of her former self, unable even to do mundane run of the mill tasks.

Farhadi expertly deals with this situation that arises in the Etesami’s life, the film feels almost like a documentary, so real are scenes played out and as Emad’s quest takes a potentially dangerous turn as the film enters into its final stretches, The Salesman’s tension riddled and fiercely real situation’s become some of the year’s most wholly captivating, as we’re trust headfirst into decisions that will affect these characters lives till the end of their days.

Final Say –

The Salesman isn’t flashy cinema but Farhadi’s carefully considered drama has a raw and poignant power that will lay its grip on viewers and won’t let go until the credits roll, making The Salesman another fine feature film from one of the world’s most consistent and original filmmakers.

4 sleeping teachers out of 5

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