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Salesman, The

Director:  Asghar Farhadi
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  3.5

Husband-and-wife acting team Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) - both working on an Iranian adaptation of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman - have to move apartments because their old one is collapsing ... except the new apartment used to be the residence of a promiscuous woman - one night, Rana is attacked while alone in the bathroom and instead of going to the police, Emad hunts down the mysterious assailant (while juggling his acting and teaching duties). Like all extraordinary filmmakers, Farhadi - operating in not-exactly-ideal conditions - understands how to develop and grow his characters (I've said before he's uncannily good at using Film to do Theatre) - he makes Rana's shame and Emad's anger exceptionally tangible, leading up to the morally complex conclusion (I'm personally fine with Emad's 'tactics' ... but that could be the pissed off Westerner in me). There are probably some things I'm losing in translation and I don't think the Miller play and the main narrative mesh quite as well as Farhadi thinks they do (this has more to do with justice and revenge ... while Miller's Willy is a symbol of the demise of the American Dream), but that's a very, very minor quibble.

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