Film Review: A Hero

Rahim and son

Few directors have been more successful over the last decade or so than Asghar Farhadi. The Iranian filmmaker is one of the few people to win two Oscars, for A Separation and The Salesman, as well as securing a raft of other awards. Unlike many of his peers, he’s committed to his homeland and still works within its system. While continuing to comment on social, religious and class issues which are prominent in the country. A Hero continues in this vein.

After being unable to repay a debt, Rahim (Amir Jadidi) is in prison. Whilst on a two-day period of leave, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw the complaint by offering a deposit, using gold coins which were in a handbag his partner (Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy) found in the street. However, he changes his mind and decides to do the right thing and hand it in. When the owner comes forward, he finds himself in the media spotlight.

A Hero is a Kafkaesque tale of a man whose attempts to improve his situation are thwarted at every turn. Along the way, Farhadi tackles a number of cultural issues which come to the fore during Rahim’s torrid journey. Faced by a number of practical, ethical and difficult choices. This makes for a thoughtful and emotive drama. One which doesn’t quite rise above the message the director is trying to convey. A Hero is less of a statement, more of a question.

A Hero is out in cinemas on 7 January.

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