Monday, February 27, 2017

Foreign Film Spotlight: THE SALESMAN (Review #2)

Some of the best films ever made are ones that the general audience has never seen, and this is because they were made outside of the United States.  Welcome to another installment of FOREIGN FILM SPOTLIGHT, where we showcase some of the best in foreign cinema to help broaden your horizons.  This week, we take a look at the newly Academy Award-winning film THE SALESMAN!

I watched A Separation a few weeks backs and shared my thoughts on that in preparation for this film. It also just won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film so I think this is the perfect time to talk about The Salesman.

The Salesman is about a couple who move into a new apartment and in it they start to become affected by the actions of the old tenant.

Once you start watching films from Asghar Farhadi, you realize how masterfully he is able to make the audience feel what he wants them to feel. From the opening scene you become engaged with the beautiful long takes that do not draw too much attention yet perfectly create and develop a sense of urgency and atmosphere. They say a human's true character is shown in moments of despair or urgency, and Farhadi uses that and develops characters with that.

I think what really surprised me is how focused the film is. The cinematography sticks to a style. It doesn't become too flashy when it could. It alongside all the other aspects of the film try to move the story forward.

The film is overall great for me, but had scenes that had me checking my clock. I think the film is written very well and the characters are really natural (at least my foreign eyes). Yet, I will be the first to say that might not be a point that carries much weight.

I also feel like while I cared about these characters, I couldn't personally connect with any of them. My lack of an emotional connection with the characters made me not care about these characters as much as I would have liked.

The way in which they spoke, and the speed of their speech, made it difficult as a foreign watcher of the film to keep up with what was going on. While I understand why the film won the Academy Award, I feel like this isn't a film I connected with as much. It wasn't bad at all, but, seeing how much I loved A Separation, I do think this film let me down a bit.

To conclude, Asghar Farahadi is a director to look out for. When he makes film he is able to make films that deserve to be watched. Even when you don't connect with them as much you can still respect them as films.

Khizer's Score: 7.5/10

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