Following his stay in Europe for the 2018 thriller Everybody knows with Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, the famous director Asghar Farhadi returns to his homeland with A hero, another sharp social-realist drama about the tangled entanglement of contemporary Iranian life. The story of an imprisoned man trying to fight his way to freedom, in the process trapping almost everyone in his orbit in trouble, is a perceptive morality play on the complicated nature of nobility and deception, even if some narrative mishaps prevent it. reaching the highs of your previous A seperation Y Last.
Iran’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the next 94 Academy Awards, A hero (In theaters January 7 and Amazon January 21, following a brief qualifying run for the awards) Rahim (Amir Jadidi) is concerned, who has been in jail for three years for failing to pay a sizeable loan to his creditor Bahram (Mohsen Tanabandeh). At the beginning of the film, Rahim is released from prison on a two-day leave and is reunited with his girlfriend Farkhondeh (Sahar Goldust), who recently found a lost bag at a bus stop containing a collection of gold coins. Together, they try to sell those coins for cash that Rahim can use to pay off a portion of his debt to Bahram. However, when offered much less than they originally expected, they come up with an alternative plan: Post fliers around town about the lost bag in the hopes that the owner will get in touch and that Rahim will get positive publicity that it will convince Bahram to forgive your outstanding bill.
Initially, this good deed goes unpunished, and Rahim receives praise from prison officials after his sister Mali (Maryam Shahdaei) hands the bag to a woman who responds to Rahim’s announcement, and who had been hiding the gold from your husband in case you ever need it. In an emergency. A television appearance promoting Rahim’s selfless act helps his cause, convincing a charity council to raise funds on his behalf to meet Bahram’s demands. However, early on, cracks begin to form in this scheme, as when Rahim claims in public (on the advice of his jailers) that he found the bag, instead of Farkhondeh. Furthermore, Bahram simply does not trust Rahim, whose original irresponsibility cost the businessman not only the money he had loaned him, but the dowry he had saved for his daughter. Regardless of how popular sentiment develops, Bahram refuses to be labeled the bad guy for wanting what is owed to him. Furthermore, even once he agrees (temporarily) to let Rahim off the hook, increasing rumors begin to spread on social media, both about prison officials making up this story to distract attention from a separate crisis, and about the Rahim’s lack of honor.
In the latter case, those suspicions are somewhat valid. Rahim has rightfully returned the lost property and yet lied about his motivations, and his subsequent decision to expose his stuttering son Siavash as a means of gaining additional sympathy marks him as a less than commendable individual. Farhadi’s camera follows Rahim as he runs from place to place trying to shore up his fiction, often subtly evoking his protagonist’s trapped circumstances through compositions that spy on him through bars and wire, or into narrow doors. At the same time, the director does not employ music, amplifying the immediacy of his unadorned portrait of Rahim’s plight, in which selfish intentions are achieved through virtuous actions and consequently engender complicated situations that require even more duplicity.
Rahim is neither a villain nor a wronged innocent, and A hero he stands in the reverse middle ground that he himself has created. That space becomes more awkward when, seemingly after having his name cleared, Rahim struggles to land a job that helps secure payments to Bahram, only to find that his potential employer wants proof of Rahim’s welfare account. Providing such evidence is impossible when the owner of the exchange cannot be contacted, and Rahim’s response to this situation further clouds an already chaotic dilemma. So does a subsequent fight between Rahim and Bahram that once again calls into question the former’s reputation and forces him to redouble mistakes that he cannot easily rid himself of.
“At the same time, the director does not employ music, amplifying the immediacy of his unadorned portrait of Rahim’s plight, in which selfish intentions are achieved through virtuous actions and consequently engender complicated situations that require even more duplicity.“
Rahim’s ordeal is a case study in moral gray areas, where no one is condemnable or faultless, and A hero navigate its thematic landscape with discreet incisiveness. Almost everyone who has anything to do with Rahim becomes a victim of collateral damage, from Farkhondeh and Siavash to council members and prison officials who, for both selfish and altruistic reasons, have helped promote Rahim’s version. of the facts and now they want to minimize the backlash for their possible exposure as fraud. Where the film stumbles, however, is in its somewhat squeaky late script. Rahim’s decision to literally take matters into his own hands is a bit contrived, as is the quasi-blackmail plot that followed.
More compelling still is the general lack of suspense, which is due both to Farhadi’s tonally reserved narration (never reaching a required crescendo) and the fact that Rahim’s haze is hard to shake and thus neutralizes. sympathy for their situation, no matter that. it is both the result of the cruel hand of fate and a reflection of his character. Nonetheless, the fact that we feel as much for Rahim as we do is a testament to the performance of Jadidi, whose haunted face and sad eyes exude a genuine concern not only for his own well-being, but for Farkhondeh and, in particular, for Siavash. , whose exploitation you can not finally tolerate. In that definitive refusal to treat his son as a mere pawn in a game that is desperate to win, and to accept responsibility for his own fortune, Rahim exhibits the decency that has previously plagued him by so many and allows A hero to locate a true measure of admirable heroism.