Monday, June 5, 2017

فروشنده‎ (The Salesman) (2016)

Director: Asghar Farhadi
Writer: Asghar Farhadi
DOP: Hossein Jafarian
Cast: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti
Language: Persian

While both participating in a production of "Death of a Salesman", a teacher's wife is assaulted in her new home, which leaves him determined to find the perpetrator over his wife's traumatized objections.

It is not made clear initially whether the assault was sexual in nature. They also don't have a detailed conversation about it. The husband decides not to report it to the Police as he doesn't want his wife to go through the ordeal of recounting it again and again  but becomes obsessed with finding the culprit. It is not clear, to him also, what he is going to do with him in case if he catches him. As he obsesses over it, cracks start appearing in their relationship as she is not very sure about his priorities.

The film got some publicity due to the 'Muslim' travel ban issued by Donald Trump and Asghar Farhadi making a public condemnation of it and declaring that he is not going to come to America for academy awards anyway. He had already won an Academy Award for 'A Separation', an excellent film. His follow up to it, Le Passe, was also great. It was almost as if the academy award for 'The Salesman' was a foregone conclusion due to the politics surrounding it. I got to say it pales in comparison with the other two Farhadi films that I mentioned above. It is by no means a bad film but is certainly very overrated. I am not familiar with 'Death of a Salesman' and can't comment on how well it fits in well with this film.

PS: The film got a quite wide theatrical distribution in India and our censors had the dubious distinction of further censoring an Iranian film.

Rating: 3/5