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A HERO gets 8/10 No good deed goes unpunished


Directed by Asghar Farhadi

Starring Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Sahar Goldoost

8/10

For such a small story, A Hero is able to get a fair amount out of it. Looking at a small incident, and the large repercussions that come from it, this drama has a delicate feeling about it, though one with an intensity bubbling just underneath.

As with Asghar Farhadi’s previous films, the story is simple, but is used to explore a number of nuances within. Rahim (Amir Jadidi) has been set free from prison for a couple of days so he can raise funds to pay off his brother-in-law Bahram (Mohsen Tanabandeh), which is the reason why he’s in prison. Good fortune comes to him in the form of a handbag with gold coins, though with only enough to partially pay off the debt. But Rahim has a change of heart and instead hunts down its rightful owner, who he finds and they graciously take it off him.

Such an act of selflessness in such a dire circumstance attracts attention and becomes a small news story, making Rahim something of a local hero. But of course, no good deed goes unpunished. Bahram tries poking holes in this saga, as Rahim does indeed have some info that he’s trying to keep secretive.

The story moves along very smoothly, with no scenes feeling overly-long or unwelcome. And the film gets to a point where some scenes explode with such ravishing debate, arguing over the supposed heroism of this man. The good-evil dichotomy here isn’t particularly cut and dry, it shows how both men (and others who also get involved) have their own sides of the story, as well as their own changing temperaments when it comes to giving their side.

The only real criticism is that it is quite familiar for Farhadi and doesn’t exactly stick out among his other films, but merely sits comfortably among them. It’s possible at this point to get scenes from this film and his others confused, as they each have the same exploration of tricky morality and are all done in a similar technical style.

A Hero moves along in such a calm and gentle manner, not only through its pacing, but in the very considerate dialogue. It effortlessly demonstrates how the careful direction and writing can make this story and all the baggage that comes with it so immersive.

DAVID MORGAN-BROWN

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