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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Melodrama > Romance > Revenge > Iran > The Salesman (2016/Sony Blu-ray)

The Salesman (2016/Sony Blu-ray)

Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C- Film: C+

A young couple is forced to move after their building was demolished, Emad (Taraneh Alidoosti) and Rana (Shahab Hosseini) move into a new apartment. However, the former occupant of their new apartment hasn't completely moved out and because of that a violent incident happens to Rana and their lives are changed forever. Emad is set on a warpath to discover who violated his wife in Asghar Farhadi's Academy Award-winning Best Foreign Film The Salesman (2016).

Emad and Rana are a young hopeful couple live in the city. Emad is a professor teaching art and theater and both him and his wife are in theater doing a play on 'Death of a Salesman'. After moving into their new apartment, Rana accidentally buzzes in a stranger thinking it was Emad and was violently and sexually assaulted and then left for dead. She survives, but Emad is furious, apparently Rana was mistaken for the previous occupant and thus assaulted. Emad is left with a few clues include the assailant's truck and that he wounded on his foot when he left.

This was a drama and tragedy, it oddly parallels the story of 'Death of a Salesman' because of the situation where a couple feels trapped by the uncontrollable things in life. After a wife is assaulted, the husband wants revenge, but the wife is too afraid to move on or report it to the police. Life is a bitter pill, even after they discover who the assailant is, the whole story hinges on one question. Is it better to be a victim who gets revenge ...or is it better to be the victim who forgives his/her assailant?

The film is a mixed bag narratively, as well as in playback with the 1080p 1.85 X 1 image and lossless Farsi DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix both offering their ups and downs performance-wise. I don't know if its the budget, just some artistic choices or both, but it just did not work for me as well as expected. Extras include conversation with writer-director Asghar Farhadi, but not really much else either.

- Ricky Chiang


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