After their flat becomes damaged, Emad and Rana, a young couple living in Tehran, Iran, must move into another apartment. Once relocated, a sudden eruption of violence linked to the previous tenant of their new home dramatically changes their lives, creating a simmering tension between husband and wife.
Asghar Farhadi is not a director who hides his symbolic subtext. The imagery in this engrossing drama, about a couple of actors whose marriage is tested when she is violently assaulted in their new home, is so overt, Farhadi might as well be sounding a klaxon. There’s the choice of the play within the film – a Persian translation of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman’s impotence and frustration permeate the film like cheap aftershave. And there’s the reason that Rana and Emad have to move house in the first place – their original apartment building is collapsing. The cracks in their home life are literal as well as figurative.
Dir: Asghar Farhadi, 2016, Iran, 2hr 4min. PG13. Subtitles.
Stars: Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini, Babak Karimi