3.5/4

The Salesman [2016] ★★★½

 Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” deservedly won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language movie. When I saw it last night, I had to stay in my seat for several minutes afterwards to take it all in. This is a rollercoaster of emotions that builds slowly and deliberately, leading up to an unforgettable climax. Part of Farhadi’s success is his ability to craft everyday people that we can easily relate to. There are no heroes in his movies: just normal individuals trying their best to survive in a difficult environment. The focus here is on Emad and Rana, a young married couple who are looking for a new place to live. We learn that their old building apartment was about to collapse, so they had to move elsewhere. One night, Rana is attacked in her shower, which leads to a series of unpredictable events. Matters of conscience and ethics come into play, and Farhadi stages every situation as if his life depended on it. I can’t talk more about the story without revealing key plot points. But I’ll say that even though the events take place in Iran, there’s nothing that couldn’t happen anywhere else in the world. That’s why Farhadi’s movies are relatable and so significant. “The Salesman” offers an unforgettable moviegoing experience. I can’t recommend it enough.

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