Directed by Asghar Farhadi
24th – 30th March 2017
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
I found this film disappointing in that, although set in Tehran, there was little, if any, political context relating to Iran in the story. The plotline – which was a standard whodunit – could have been set in any country.
In essence the story centred around Emad (Shabab Hosseini) whose wife Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) is attacked at their home while he was absent. For some bizarre reason some critics concluded that she had been raped during the assault but this reasoning is absurd when you later discover who the assailant was.
Emad, who is a teacher and an amateur actor – his current role is in Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller – seeks revenge without any apparent regard to his wife’s wish for him not to do so. He is showing what a macho man he is. Satisfy his own desires rather than the desires of the victim.
The attack took place after they had to move to another apartment when their old abode became unsafe to live in after a minor earthquake. The previous occupant was a sex worker and various men had paid frequent visits to her. Unwittingly Rana buzzed in a caller she believed was her husband. But in fact it was one of the prostitute’s former clients.
The film was nominated for best foreign language film at this year’s Academy Awards. I am not sure the reason why.