Even when he’s not smiling, he’s smiling. A calligraphy painter, Rahim (Amir Jadidi) has a noble and deceptive face. You never know what he’s thinking. Whether his humility and altruism are sincere or feigned. If he wants to take the light or run away from it. To brag or hide. On his own, he embodies all of Asghar Farhadi’s cinema, which gives pride of place, even in a fleeting but decisive scene, to the indecipherable, the impenetrable, in order to leave the spectator, this detective of the shadow, the freedom of one’s own conviction. On a street in Shiraz, the historic capital of Persia, a woman finds a bag full of gold coins. She is the clandestine companion of Rahim, a divorced and incarcerated man, who benefits from a two-day leave. This treasure could enable him to repay the debt, contracted towards his inflexible brother-in-law, which earned him a three-year sentence in prison. After a hesitation about which we will not say anything – it is the primitive scene -, he decides to return the money to the one who lost it, via a small advertisement.
Haro on the hero
The affair is rumored, propaganda is set up, social networks are on fire. Rahim becomes “a hero”, whose loyalty and integrity are praised. Iranian television is camped in front of the prison, where the management, faced with a series of suicides which it hopes to camouflage, cajoles this model captive to whom it grants, as a reward, a provisional release. The presence, at his side, on the stages where he is celebrated, of his young stuttering son adds to the humanity of the prodigal father and to the emotion of his admirers. But the machine for making a living legend, which is working at full speed in this autocratic country, will quickly come to a halt. Soon, haro on the hero.
The sequel after the ad
After less inspired and more touristy detours through France (“Le Passé”) and Spain (“Everybody Knows”), the filmmaker of “La Fête du feu” and “Uneparation” is back in his country. natal, whose Kafkaesque daily life, implacable administration, invisible Caesarism of the mullahs he films like no one else, and here he is at the height of his art. Master of the ellipse, the parable and the trompe-l’œil, Farhadi follows the destiny of his hero, who at the same time illustrates himself and loses himself, the better to denounce all that corrodes, ugliness and despairs Iranian society. . His painting of mores is based, as always, on a Hitchcockian dramaturgy, a straight-forward scenario, where the suspense borrows from the thriller. A devious thriller, with no gunshots or crime scenes. Grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival, “A hero” would have deserved palm gold.
Thursday October 6 at 8:55 p.m. on Canal+ Cinéma. Iranian drama by Asghar Farhadi (2021). With Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Sahar Goldust, Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy. 2:07. (Multicast and On Demand).
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“A hero”, Farhadi in his country