I always found it strange when a film is nominated for Best Foreign Film yet none of the actors are nominated for anything, it isn’t nominated for best picture, nor is best director part of the nominations. Which isn’t a setup to say this film is horrible, but more so that it definitely isn’t for…


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I always found it strange when a film is nominated for Best Foreign Film yet none of the actors are nominated for anything, it isn’t nominated for best picture, nor is best director part of the nominations. Which isn’t a setup to say this film is horrible, but more so that it definitely isn’t for everyone.

Characters & Storyline

After moving into a new home, Emad’s [note] Shahab Hosseini [/note] wife Rana [note]Taraneh Alidoosti[/note] is surprised by an intruder. This incident makes it difficult for her to perform alongside her husband in The Salesman, it makes it so she doesn’t want to be alone, nor necessarily intimate, and it strains their marriage. Especially since she has no desire to go to the cops, yet seems unable to move on.

Highlights

It’s More About The Story Than The Drama

Something about this movie reminds me of Loving. It has a very serious topic, of which you almost think will be assault or rape, but seemingly it doesn’t go there. However, despite how that could be handled with shock, melodrama, and what have you, a different path is taken. A path not often gone down so without the usual monologues and yelling, you are forced to take note of body language, facial expressions, and really reading what the subtitles are saying since there are no distractions. Leaving you with just the performance and being that most movies don’t take this road, it’s something not easy to get used to.

On The Fence

This Is The Type Of Film For Film Lovers (Of An Indie Variety)

The beautiful thing about indie films is that the sole thing which is commercial about them is usually the actors they hire. From there, it is purely about the art form and the idea that if you make something of quality, the people will come. The problem with that is, as the production completes their collected vision, its pursuit to be outside the norm corners it into a niche. One which forces the viewer to be open minded, to be willing to test their limits and their taste. Something which, I’ll admit, can be difficult for me sometimes. For, I need characters who emote and are expressive. I need characters who have some energy, some life, some type of personality which hooks you. But that’s because I’m as addicted to that as most people are to sugar in their drinks. So be wary of this film if you are the type who can’t deal with people who remain mostly calm even as they go through traumatic things or do things which a person would only do when brought to the brink of sanity.

Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)

I pushed this film back on my schedule because I was fully expecting a storyline dealing with Rana’s rape and Emad trying to deal with that through revenge. Something which, with me learning about this movie before watching Elle [note]which contains many brutal rape scenes[/note], I was not for experiencing the subject matter on repeat. So, months later, as I watched this and learned that wasn’t the story being told, I almost appreciate how I was tricked. For, more often than not, trailers give everything away and destroy any sense of allure. With this film, though, it tricks you into thinking the usual drama will be there, but then there is a bait and switch.

The problem with that is, the film has very tame performances. So, as an average movie goer, it may lull you into some form of sleepiness. Leading to why this is being labeled “Mixed.” The reason is, the characters are dull, the storyline does take a different path than expected, but it is hard to say whether that is a good or bad thing and, in the long run, you ultimately question what was the hype about? Is it because not a lot of Iranian stories make it out of that region? Is it because the assault was handled without the energy we’re used to in thrillers? Honestly, I can’t tell you. I just can’t figure out the reasons behind the massive amounts of acclaim.


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