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|Index||16 reviews in total|
I loved how this movie had some women characters that shows the exact
situation of Iranian women. The old lady: "Oh...thank god you are
alive.Thank you for saving him.He is my everything.I can't live without
him."These are the words of an old lady in a 35 year-old marriage
toward his husband which has been cheating on her for 3 years!How dumb
is she!? It's the story of many women in Iran which because of their
situation should obey their husbands and love them blindly. Raana: She
has been raped but she doesn't have the courage to sue also she is so
embarrassed that this may become a discredit to her. The prostitute:
Imagine A mother with a young daughter what should she do for a
living?Nothing in a society specified for Men but to sell her body to
those Men! And finally the woman in the taxi: This woman knows the
situation of all the women above. she is now a women who had lost her
trust to all men.Either something happened to her or to her friends she
now sees men all like together.She's so paranoid that she doesn't see
that Emad is doing nothing.
There are many other scenes i loved about the film for example when one of the student asked "how does a man become a cow?"and Emad answered "gradually" and It was actually proved during the film when an old man doesn't find it shameful to touch someone's wife while a kid find it shameful to go to bathroom with his mother's friend!!So again a man gradually becomes a cow!!
Masterfully shot in Teheran, the film follows the ill fortunes of a theatrical married couple who, while rehearsing Miller's play Death of a Salesman, find themselves having to abandon their crumbling apartment and to seek alternative accommodation. The film is openly an allegory about social, urban and marital decay. But way beyond it, it is about the costs of masculine pride. By far more than a very good 'Iranian film', this is a superb statement about the unbearable consequences of trying to live up to codes of honour that centre on the female body. In my opinion, actress Taraneh Alidoosti is the hero of the film, both in her performance and in the role she occupies in the script. In contrast to appearances, she is the mover of everything that takes place in this fantastic film. A cinematic poem and a masterpiece in unfolding the twists of human psychology.
The Salesman is Asghar Farhadi's 7th Feature film and the 4th in which
he reunites with Taraneh Alidoosti.
The film centers around a married couple who are in middle of preparation for their adaptation of Death of a Salesman for stage. The film begins with this couple having to evacuate their apartment due to excavations happening next door. They're forced to look for a new apartment and they managed to do so through their friend played by Babak Karimi...and that's all you need to know about the plot because I feel like giving away more would diminish what this film is trying to achieve.
I feel like The Salesman follows a similar formula to About Elly . It's expertly written and it managed to hook me from the very first scene all the way to the last. The viewer is not presented with the central issue of the film from the get-go (unlike a Separation), but rather the film follows normal day-to-day life of the characters and that creates a sense of anticipation in the viewer. That feeling of anticipation in About Elly made it so special for me and Farhadi follows the same formula here again.
I was never a huge fan of A Separation and I've always considered the massively underrated About Elly as Farhadi's best film , but If you've seen and enjoyed either of those films, then The Salesman is for you.
This is probably the most mature and well crafted Film from Farhadi so far. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to seeing it again.
Oh and It's probably worth noting that the film received a standing ovation at my theater.
Gradually (highly recommended to read these two plays before watching this movie 1.Cow by Gholam Hossein Saedi and 2.Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller) The salesman is really breathtaking and it has all the familiar factor of Farhadi's movies with a big difference that there is not any sign of those open ends anymore and you associate with the main character of movie more than any time. The story is about a young couple (Emad and Rana) who are performing at Arthur Miller's play Death of a salesman. They have to move to another apartment because their apartment is going to collapse. This moving cause a serious issue in their life because of the old tenant. In the beginning of the film when Emad_ with brilliant performance by Shahab Hosseini_ and his students was reading Saedi's play Cow, one of his student asked him "Sir,How does a man become cow?" Emad answered: "gradually". This question and Emad's answer are the main theme of this movie. Farhadi has used some part of the play Death of a Salesman in his movie masterfully and he has chosen Emad for the Willy's role in order to show and emphasize how Emad gradually got far away from his family or even his wife just like willy. The last twenty minutes of film are really breathtaking and the spectators associate with Emad more than anytime and I think they regularly ask themselves "if I were him, what would I do?" The salesman is a story about revenge or with accurate express is a story about the motivation of revenge. This story like another Fahadi's movies occurs in a family and effects family members. After A separation and now with the salesman Farhadi can be considered as a great master in directing suspenseful family drama like Hitchcock.
This is a true masterpiece, one of the best films of the year. Even though Farhadi's 'A Separation' is even better, this is a great display of storytelling and psychological understanding of the director. There are three elements that ought to be highlighted. 1) Without gimmicks and hyperboles it shows how a common man, with his natural strengths and flaws, gets his own moral code defied by the violence that exists in all societies but that in this case, touched his family. 2) The visual language. Again, it's subtle and straightforward, but its always at the right distance of the characters. 3) The counterpointing of Miller's play is marvelous! What happens to them in real life always affects the development of the play and the tensions backstage have a richness that takes the audience to a new level. A must-watch!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you haven't watched Farhadi's new release already, then prepare
yourself for yet another suspenseful, infuriating, domestic crisis, or
in brief, a Farhadi's plot. One worthy of the classy Palme D'or
apparently. Not as intricate and open-ended as his previous ones, but
in the same neighborhood.
******* SPOILERS AHEAD **********
Emud and Raana are in a rush to evacuate their collapsing house and move to a new flat which was, unbeknownst to them, formerly inhabited by a prostitute. Raana gets assaulted by an intruder one night, who seems to be a client of the previous lady. Emud, filled with rage, seeks for his revenge of course. Raana, on the flip side, prefers everything to be forgotten. Contrasts evolve between the two as we move further, to the extent that they begin to reconsider their relationship.
What triggered Farhadi to make his new title back in his hometown, in my opinion, was the need for a serious heads-up towards where the society is going. "The Salesman" is a social criticism in its core and thus more bound to Iranian context and culture. Although the plot's conflicts and themes appear not to be uniquely Iranian but certain references are quite foreign for an outsider audience.
The couple lives in a society where everything is misplaced. Law and security systems have basically lost their functionality. Peace and pleasure is sought outside the family and words of truth are spoken not in the real life, but on a theater stage while playing roles. Raana decides (out of her shame) that there's no need for police to get involved. Emud begins his own investigations and at the end both debate on how to punish the guilty guy, to top it all.
So when the victim turns into a detective and ends up as his own judge, all by himself, there's one thing for sure; The society has failed to its furthest extent.
The name of the film "Salesman" have 2 coincident meanings at the same word: one of the meaning is pertaining to the first role actor in theater who his occupation have to sales somethings in term of managing his life poorly and another meaning is affiliated with a woman (ex- tenant of the apartment) who sales her body in an inappropriate way for making money intentionally. In addition, aforementioned movie show us that taking revenge is not really easy when we imagine ourselves in that situation because if you are there instead of guilty person, maybe you act worse than him. What's more, Audience during watching these Sequences, face with a dilemma between forgiveness or revenge which this atmosphere is entirely fantastic and make us satisfied after watching this terrific film.
There is no one to be judged except us, who are now watching the movie
in around the world and in different countries with different cultures.
As you see, no wall is being seen between the rooms in the "Death of a
salesman" play by Arthur Miller. The director, clearly states how good
it would be, if you try thinking about the least s in your life as it's
the reason of most of the problems you may be encountered with in your
life. You as the watcher feel no wall around the personal life of Rana
and Emad as there is no in Arthru Miller's, "Death of a salesman". Even
the camera tries to convince you how to find your way, while in most of
the vital situations of the movie, it makes you to think by take a look
at those Hitchcock's brilliantly used elements in a form of close up.
Like Farhadi's previous movies we are going to see vast of classes in a
society; How they act when they face with a problem and how good or bad
they are in understanding the situation. The movie starts with a medium
close up of Linda and Willy Luman's bed, continues through the first
scene which is the problem they have with their flat and ends up with
another close up of those meaningful cracks on the window and the
bulldozer which ruins the house next door in order to make a new one.
Farhadi considers the flat as the society, cracks as the result of
forgetting morality and bulldozer as a symbol of forgetting plumbs.
Rana feels no love for Emad and so does Emad. We understand this when
we see their bed, the way they act, the way Emad most of the times
argues with Rana and etc. Even when Rana prepares their bed before
taking a shower, the way she throws Emad's pillow on the bed, proves
this. They want to give their relation another chance by having a baby
as it seems from Emad's joke while he is talking to Babak in their
first visit of their new place. However, in the dinner scene, Sadra,
who is a 4 or 5-year-old boy, shows that having a baby is not a key to
their success in saving their relation while, Emad even forget to
consider her wife's feelings and doesn't consider her kind behavior and
efforts in preparing such a simple but lovely supper and just follow on
his own traditional thoughts in regard to the problem they both are
challenging with. Farhadi shows how bad it would be to judge someone
without experiencing the situation the people are in by showing the
scene in which Emad is checking Ahoo's answering machine, reaches to
the Ahoo's daughter's message which shows how responsible her mom is
and what a beautiful love is among them just like a normal mom and
daughter in a normal family or by showing the child paint on the wall,
shows a daughter with two moms in her right side, proves she likes her
mom who has just become a slut because of her terrible situation. After
the rape scene, Rana has become depressed not because of that event but
because of this fact that she chooses to have her husband's attention
by misusing of her condition. Emad also has started a journey to
corruption while he chooses revenge as a way to show her wife that he
is still in love with her. He forgets everything and doesn't consider
that he has gradually turned to a cow just to save his wife. In Saedi's
story which we see during the high school scene we have the same
segment in which the farmer has turned to a cow just because of the
love he feels toward his cow. Emad misuses of his situation and ruins
his life while, Rana acts like a bulldozer and ruins their love by her
misunderstanding from the word, Love. Willy has also done the same
thing with his child, Biff while, he tells him lie, forget morality and
sticks on finding another way to solve the problem rather than telling
him the truth about his unlawful relation with that slut in his room's
bathroom. The movie reminds us forgetting morality is the worst
possible thing when it shows that an old experienced man has done such
a bizarre act with Rana. You may ask yourself how it could be possible
for an old man like him to do something like that and escape that fast
but in my opinion it was a taunt by Farhadi shows even Rana and Emads'
neighbors have forgotten their ethics while they didn't help Rana in
time and by telling lies to Emad want to define themselves as heroes.
Those bloody footprints close to each other, proves my word that the
intruder has the required time to escape and no one has even tried to
block him on his way. The neighbors by not doing their responsibility
toward Rana and Emad even made the situation worse. They also have
forgotten their morality. Farhadi reminds us how bad it would be if we
forget morality, start judging others and forget ourselves. "The
salesman", proves that we all may gradually turn to cows if we forget
whom we really are!
October 30, 2016
After having just moved into their new home Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and
Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a couple of fellow actors find themselves in
a difficult home life situation after a violation of their home. S they
go through the performances at the local theater of Arthur Miller's
'Death of a Salesman' their relationship takes a left turn from which
it might not ever go back.
I tried to keep the synopsis as vague as possible so not to spoil the film, since, as in most of Farhadi's films, the inciting incident comes in later in the film and the drama ultimately does not develop until the third act, something that this director likes to do and at which he excels, always giving priority to the space in which characters develop and live their everyday lives.
And those are exactly the reasons why "The Salesman" is a fantastically subtle and morally complex revenge tale masked as a home drama, which has some of the best work by actors I have seen in 2016, even though this might be too slightly of a familiar territory from Farhadi.
It is no coincidence that Shahab Hosseini won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival, if there is one reason why this film succeeds it is him. This performance is raw and authentic in its own unique way, he manages to guide us through every one of the stages of degradation his character goes through and he manages to do so without us noticing. On a surface level the character arch he goes through would be hard to believe, there are some changes that wouldn't appear natural when spelled out. Yet, Hosseini manages to sell us on this person and all of the turbulence he has to go through, he manages to enhance little moments that I can't imagine working on paper. He fits right into the world that Farhadi builds and comes out giving a powerhouse of a performance that guides the audience through the whole narrative.
Certainly, Farhadi deserves to share some of the credit for the performance too, for many reasons. Firstly, just as in all of his film, the performances across the board are just flawless, he directs actors to perfection and he doesn't even give you a chance to realize this. The way in which he uniquely manages to capture everyday life is profoundly stunning. From the camera-work to every detail of the blocking of actors right down to every word they say, the fabric of ordinariness he succeeds in putting on screen is flawless. I have no idea if this is all meticulously thought out or if it is left to brilliant improvisation and I don't want to know, what is clear to me is that as a director his methods work excellently and the results he manages to produce on screen are remarkable.
Then, when it comes to building the drama, Farhadi is just as masterful. The evolution of it is natural and doesn't ever feel forced upon the characters, the parallels traced with theater might be a little too on the nose, but they are stunningly relevant and used to an incredible cinematic effect. He manages to build and build the drama and make it culminate in a riveting finale where all of the themes and the moral questions the film asks flow out naturally from it and leave you hanging at just the right moment. He also manages to build a complex web of visual cues and use them effectively to complement the characters and the story, once again here the visual parallels with the theater are a joy to see unfold.
It has to be said that this is very familiar territory for Farhadi, the contrast of personal justice versus institutionalized justice is very relevant is his past film "A Separation" and so is the outlook on revenge, the degrading and the toll it takes on the individual and the destructive results of it. Sometimes it even feels like he is retracing his steps and for someone who has seen his film this might result in a slightly predictable outcome, even though the self contained drama in the film never looses its relevance to the characters, ultimately resulting in a constantly fascinating watch that challenges the viewer and defies traditional cinematic beats and expectations
I am struck at the complexity of this film, and the reflective nature
of its narrative structure. Action or events as a device to look at our
natures, choices, motives, drives and dreams. And let's not stop there.
How about actors acting theater scenes, and throw in a play within a
play to boot, for good measure.
I know I sound somewhat critical above, and under less skilled hands, such criticism would be warranted. But not here. THE SALESMAN is compelling from beginning to end. And using Arthur Miller's iconic play, THE DEATH OF A SALESMAN, works so well to comment on these character's dreams, failings, nobility and humanity.
A dream -- or rather dreams -- shattered by a single, accidental, innocent incident. At the end of the journey, of our own Odyssey, whether we arise as a hero or a victim depends on our choices, our attitudes, our sheer willfulness for goodness or our tendency for self-destruction. To me, this movie raised these issues, and more. I loved it. Compelling through and through, and from a most-gifted, cinematically articulate director.
Scoring the different elements of the film objectively, 1 to 4:
Script/Story: 4, loved it. And all this set against a backdrop of a crackling, fall building; a house of cards, if you will.
Cinematography/Visual Effects: 3.5. Well shot. Close shots heightened the tension.
Editing: 3.5. Well edited; kept the pacing of a natural thriller, but lacked the cheesiness of one.
Sound Effects: 3, competent sound mixing
Musical Score: 3; frankly do not recall any musical score underscoring the film. This is sad as I should have noticed. Was there one?
Performances: 4, extremely strong performances. Great ensemble work, and standout work by the two leads, and the old man, too. I was particularly touched by the scene between the two men when the lead told the old man to take off his shoes. This scene was so effectively shot. Slow pacing of the camera capturing every quiver of both performances. Wow.
Production Design: Sets, Locations, Costumes, etc.: 2.5; my complaint here deals with the shots from the theater itself where DEATH OF A SALESMAN was being performed. Needed something more here.
Would you recommend this movie to a friend? Absolutely; a fine work of cinema. And extremely provocative. Well written; well shot; well delivered. Most highly recommended. Strong Oscar contender for Best Foreign Language Film.
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