Film Review: Gholam

Asghar Farhadi is without doubt one of the most consistently impressive living filmmakers. With a string of awards under his belt, the Iranian’s films are always worth seeking out. One of his most frequent collaborators is Shahab Hosseini. They worked together on About Elly, A Separation and The Salesman. The latter won Farhadi Best Actor at Cannes. He’s a very personable actor and always shines in whatever he does. In his new film, Gholam, he arguably delivers his best performance yet.

Exiled from his native Iran, Gholam (Hosseini) works as a mechanic by day in Mr Sharif’s (Behrouz Behnejad) lot and drives a cab by night. He eats in his uncle’s (Russell Parsi) cafe on a daily basis without fail, despite the fact they don’t get on. When one of the customers recognises him as the child he fought with in the war, The Quiet Man (Nasser Memarzia) tries to recruit him. However, Gholam chooses another fight.

Gholam is a considered character study which asks more questions than it answers. Mitra Tabrizian’s directorial debut is a powerful and compelling film which is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Hosseini plays Gholam, a troubled man, with nuance and gravitas. A man with a past he’s trying to escape but with a future yet to be plotted. He’s a closed book. Gholam is a muscular drama where actions speak louder than words.

Gholam opens in cinemas on 23 March.

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