The Salesman

The Salesman portrays revenge in it’s most vulnerable of forms

Winner of the 2017 Academy Award for best foreign language film, The Salesman tracks two weeks of the lives of couple Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) living in Tehran, Iran. Forced out of their home, they move quickly to a new apartment, but a former tenant had a mysterious past. When alone, Rana is attacked and Emad knows it has something to do with the old tenant and sets out to find the person who brutally injured his wife.

The Salesman is an incredibly fine film. It relies hugely on its subtlety and for the most part it works. However, because it stays so calm and resolute, it never takes the step up towards a most extreme moment. Even in the particularly tense final moments, it doesn’t expand to anything greater, which is a disappointment. There is room for it to take on a new form rather than stay muted.

However, this subtlety does work wonderfully. There’s too much but the mix between the stage performance of Death of A Salesman and the actual drama unfolding is interesting scriptually and thematically. It’s calm and quiet for the most part and even seems to channel similar ideas to Birdman in its movement from stage to life in a flowing and seamless sense.

At its heart, The Salesman is a mystery and a thriller and the way it reveals information about the attacker is both brilliant and reliable. It’s a piece of work that is slow and methodical for almost all the right reasons. It sits a gripping thriller with a surprisingly human twist holding an incredible sense of righteousness and justice and portrays revenge in it’s most vulnerable of forms.

Director Asghar Farhadi has produced a meticulous piece of film that stands firmly with its beliefs calmly and expertly. The final act becomes impulsive and unpredictable. A clear cumulation of progress and determination turning the film on its head but never reaching the climax it so desperately needed but for what is there, The Salesman is a great piece of film making.

4/5

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