In a Cannes festival full of “inciting incident” investigative slow burners, The Salesman sits near the middle of the pile as it intrigues with its low-key mysteries and strong, relatable performances. However, it never fully convinces, as its narrative turns feel rather forced.
Based in part around an ongoing performance of Death of a Salesman, The Salesman is at its strongest when directly comparing and contrasting the characters’ behaviour on and off stage – the results are fascinating when one starts to bleed into the other.
A dialogue-heavy half-hour narrative climax is gripping, but feels unfairly earned by earlier plot contrivances.
Slow moving and emotionally involving, Farhadi’s The Salesman is immaculately crafted but lacks the power and potency of A Seperation.
CAST: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi, Mina Sadati
DIRECTOR: Asghar Farhadi
WRITER: Asghar Farhadi
SYNOPSIS: A couple’s (Hosseini & Alidoosti) relationship begins to turn sour after they are forced out of their structurally unsafe house.
The Salesman was screened In Competition at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.