The Salesman

The Salesman ★★★★

The Salesman sells Miller’s tragedy of the common man in ‘Death of a Salesman’ through the precipitous fracturing of an Iranian acting couple - who are performing in the aforementioned iconic play - after a violent incident damages their relationship, with Farhadi observing the source material’s theme of denial and brilliantly applying it to one man’s retaliation that ultimately destroys the very thing he sought to protect, gently building up an investigative drama to a staggering crescendo.

Well, my second Farhadi film, and I can confidently say if you’re a couple in a Farhadi drama…you are going to be tested upon moral decision after moral decision. Yet much like the masterful ‘A Separation’, it brings out a huge wave of empathy that allows you to connect to these flawed characters. What makes this all the more interesting, is how Farhadi uses Miller’s play as a counterpoint to the main plot. Completely different scenarios, but mirroring the loss of one man’s self-image. Emad (played brilliantly by Hosseini) is so angry by what happened to his wife, that he loses himself entirely. Examining how trauma changes our psyche and tests human emotional stability to an extreme degree. If only his wife Rana had more development as a character other than a stark reminder of female abuse in a patriarchal society. She just seemed too subdued in the final moments of confrontation. Still, yet another fantastic contemporary drama from Farhadi!

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