The Salesman

The Salesman ★★★★

In this finely-told The Salesman, Iranian master Asghar Farhadi continues his streak of searing domestic dramas that pulsates emotional humanistic edge and intellectual urgency. One of world cinema’s best living dramatists, Farhadi concocts yet another riveting portrait about marriage and the complexities that surrounds the relationship between a husband, and a wife. But in a deeper sense, The Salesman is really about a man’s study of self-worth, ego, impotence, and pride. The film follows a tragedy that happened between the couple and how they resolve and unresolve the clutters that they got themselves into.

Farhadi’s strength as a filmmaker and a dramatist is his exceptional humanism for his characters. Even if at times, the film go on certain directions which are quite unconvincing and unnecessary, the characters and their experiences come to life. The Salesman makes a strong argument about how art imitates life and vice-versa, while his characters are attuned to the storyline as actors staging Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. However, sometimes Farhadi overwrites incidents to his films which made The Past and this feel not as solid and flawless as A Separation. Yet, The Salesman delivers because it truly makes us feel for these wounded individuals living as human beings—flawed, careless, and vulnerable.

Shahab Hosseini who won the Best Actor at Cannes delivered a solid performance of a man who is challenged to save what is already broken. His broken ego is evident to every man out there, and Hosseini shown a strong turn without faltering a single note. Iran’s premiere actress Taraneh Alidoosti is also superb as Hosseini’s wife holding her own against the strong presence of her co-actor. Overall, this is a mid-tier, but excellent work from Farhadi. It’s not as flawless and immaculate as A Separation, but it’s almost there.

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