Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian drama about a young couple who play leads in a production of Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman and are meanwhile forced to leave their dilapidated apartment building, is a deserving winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The couple is provided with a new flat through another cast member. It’s in a security building but through a combination of misfortunes, an intruder is allowed to enter one night while wife Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) is alone, and she is assaulted. Her husband, Emad (Shahab Hosseini) is obsessed with finding the perpetrator, as well as trying to determine the actual extent of the assault – Rana was knocked unconscious and cannot remember any details.
The incident and Eman’s response to it starts to put a strain on their relationship, paralleling the disintegrating marriage of their characters in Miller’s play.
It is beautifully filmed, with a minimalism that allows the emotional points and bareness of the relationship to be forefront. There is genuine, riveting suspense with a resolution that can’t be predicted.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich.