7/10 A simple story that turns into so much more, “A Hero” tackles a plethora of issues in what ends up being a rather tragic tale, but a well made and acted one at that. Asghar Farhadi’s film hails from Iran and is spoken in Persian with English subtitles (if you’re in America) and left me feeling depressed by the end but simultaneously happy that I sought out this foreign film. The story follows Rahim, a man in prison for being unable to pay off debts. He is home on two days leave when he stumbles upon some gold coins. Instead of selling them to pay off his debts, he eventually does the right thing and returns them to their owner. At first his good deed pays off, garnering him tons of sympathy but no good deed goes unpunished as things start to unravel for him in this morality tale. The lines between right and wrong as well as lies and truth begin to blur but we can’t stop what’s coming. You root for Rahim and his plight, especially if his background story of why he is really in prison is to be believed but even white lies paired with frustration bottling up into anger lead to massive consequences. The acting from leading man Amir Jadidi, along with the supporting cast of Sahar Goldust, Mohsen Tanabandeh and the rest of the cast is phenomenal and feels completely authentic. The story feels realistic, as if it has happened in real life, despite not being based on a true story. The script is well written and emotional as the audience will go on a roller coaster of different emotions, with some scenes feeling downright uncomfortable to watch. The score suits the film well, the cinematography captures the mood and the direction is strong. The beauty of foreign films done well like this one is that for Western audiences, we get a glimpse into Iranian life and the struggles that people all the way across the globe face. This is Iran’s submission for the Academy Award’s Best Foreign Film and I’ll be curious to see if it snags a nomination since there is tough competition in the category this year. While it has low replayability and moves a little slow near the beginning, if you enjoy broadening your horizons with foreign films, I recommend checking this one out as Farhadi is able to take such a simple story and propel it into so much more than the audience bargained for.

#IranToTheMedia / #ACoinLoss / #SpittingOnAGoldMine / #AloneShark / #DontStutterAWord / #FromZeroToHeroToZero

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