As we open on Rahim Soltani, we see a clean-cut man being embraced by his brother-in-law.
Rahim’s warm grin and demeanour endear us to him immediately, and we take a shine to him, despite finding out he’s on a two-day leave from prison.
Rahim owes a large sum of money for which he cannot pay, and thus his freedom and honour have been stripped from him. During his time home, he plans to strike a deal to get out of prison and start a payment plan.
Writer-director Asghar Farhadi – of Iranian descent – is a celebrated Oscar nominee known for Jodaeiye Nader az Simin, The Salesman and A Separation. creates a tense, evocative film in A Hero.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed about the film is that nothing is ever what it seems. There are layers to the truth – if I tell a story, there’s my version, another person’s version, and somewhere in the middle is the exact version of events.
While Rahim can be considered noble in some people’s eyes, he’s a deadbeat to his creditor, and his actions and intentions throughout the film change based on whose perspective is involved.
Amir Jadidi gives an Oscar-cailbre performance as Rahim, and the next strongest turn comes from Mohsen Tanabandeh as his creditor.
The ensemble give a unique portrait of the themes of love, honour, and how we approach thoughts on our heroes in society. It’s an introspective, meditative piece of filmmaking I won’t soon forget.