Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
After scoring an Oscar for A Separation and making The Past in Paris, Asghar Farhadi returns to Tehran for this quietly gripping drama about a couple, amateur actors appearing in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (hence the film’s title), whose relationship starts to splinter in the aftermath of an assault.
Forced to move apartments quickly when their building almost collapses, married couple Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) accept an offer from a friend and hastily move into a new flat, not knowing that its previous occupant, whose things remain strewn about the place, was a woman despised by her neighbours for having too many “male friends.” In the process of moving her stuff out and their stuff in, Rana leaves the door ajar for her husband, only to be confronted and attacked by a strange man. As Rana retreats into herself, Emad, frustrated by his inability to either comfort her or to help her move on, decides to play detective and find the culprit himself. But if and when he does, what will he do then? And at what cost?
“Another [of Farhadi’s] intriguing collection of scenes from a marriage in which happiness is threatened by niggling discontent, impossible dilemmas and a clash of values between the instinct for forgiveness and the yearning for revenge… Farhadi remains a master of pace and tension, slowly upping the stakes in an unsettling narrative fuelled by a lingering sense of powerlessness, paranoia and the possibility that you never entirely know the person you love…”—Allan Hunter, Screen
Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Cannes 16