The Salesman is a 2016 Iranian drama film directed and written by Asghar Farhadi and starring Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini. It is about a married couple who perform Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman on stage, when the wife is assaulted. Her husband attempts to determine the identity of the attacker, while she struggles to cope with post-trauma stress. Farhadi chose Miller's play as his story within a story based on shared themes. The film was shot in Tehran, beginning in 2015.Wikipedia
The Salesman Reviews
Everything that comes first is exhaustingly awake, while the finale, I gather, is yet another way to look at The American Dream. What a sales pitch.
In this delicately crafted story of life, marriage, everyday violence -- and kindness -- writer-director Asghar Farhadi proves once again that there are few filmmakers like him in turning the camera inwards.
Farhadi’s love of theatre is evident in his stage-bound direction, which is chock-a-block with contrivances. For a purported revenge thriller, there is precious little tension. The tale quickly devolves into a mushy melodrama.
The answer you walk away with is the person you are. That’s the genius of Farhadi -- everyone discovers something bittersweet about themselves within or watching his true to life creations.
This Iranian drama is chock-full of intrigue and has a lot of parallels with Indian sensibilities. There are a lot of reasons to watch it, least of all the fact that it is this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film.
This film is a psychological exploration about morality and it's implications on the strictly religious conservative mindset while bringing into play questions of hurt male pride and manhood. And of course the marriage could well be at stake here. Performances are first rate, camera work is enlightening and direction is masterly. Farhadi may not have set the narrative on fire with obvious dramatic thrusts but the subtler flurries of subtext within allows for a lot more rumination and thought. So there's reason enough to watch this film for sure!
Apart from shared themes that the play and the film have — primarily in terms of one's interpretation of and reaction to reality, the theatre portions also show how life sometimes forces you to go out into the world and put on an act, no matter how difficult things seem on the inside. Sometimes, the façade cracks; but the show must go on.
Overall, the film, packed with forced symbolism, is a beautifully rendered piece full of nuance and subtlety. It moves along slowly but always keeps the audience captured with its intriguing intelligent quotient and bubbling tension.
At his best, Farhadi ensures that every twist of narrative is matched by a revelation of character — and something more: a startling, laserlike insight into the particular social and cultural environs that shaped these characters and their reasons for reacting the way they do. The world of The Salesman isn’t quite as intricately imagined as some of its predecessors, and the story’s sleuthing element, while absorbing, often feels more narratively expedient than germane.