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Buy into The Salesman

By Aisouda Savadlou, October 7 2016 —

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest film The Salesman won both Best Actor and Best Screenplay at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Farhadin previously won an Academy Award for his movie A Separation and has directed other critically acclaimed movies including About Elly and Le passé.

Both screenings of The Salesman during this year’s Calgary International Film Festival attracted a full house.

The Salesman follows actor-couple Rana and Emad, playing the roles of Linda and Willy in a theatre production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. An accident forces them to evacuate their house, triggering a chain of events that follow changes their lives forever.  

The screenplay is incredibly moving and deals with sensitive topics such as sexual harassment, post-traumatic stress disorder and infidelity. At times, the scenes became so intense that the audience would laugh at the slightest moment of of humour to relieve the tension. The influence of Miller’s play is felt throughout the film but Farhadi’s interpretation makes the story unique and unpredictable.

Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti are phenomenal in the lead roles. The acting feels natural and is fascinating as Hosseini and Alidoosti expertly juggle two levels of acting — Rana and Emad in their normal lives and as Linda and Willy in Death of a Salesman.

The Salesman is a difficult and emotional movie to watch. However, the flawless acting and screenplay make it definitely worth the experience. The film deserved its “audience favourite” title, and will surely find success on screens around the world.

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