REVIEW OF A HERO: Asghar Farhadi’s gripping Iranian morality tale.

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A Hero REVIEW: Asghar Farhadi’s gripping Iranian morality tale.

Following a misguided trip to Spain to shoot Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem’s whodunit Everybody Knows, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi returns to his homeland for this quietly moving drama.

This gripping film, like his Oscar-winning A Separation, is about a regular guy thrust into an extraordinary situation.

Rahim (Amir Jadidi), a divorced father of one, has been granted a weekend release from the debtor’s prison, where he must remain until his family can repay the man who funded his failed business, according to Iranian law.

Rahim, on the other hand, is devising a strategy.

Farkhondeh (Sahar Goldust), his girlfriend, has discovered 17 gold coins in a handbag.

Rahim intends to sell them in order to pay off half of his debt, with the hope that his enraged creditor will agree to let him pay the remaining balance in installments.

When the creditor refuses to negotiate, Rahim devises a new plan.

He’ll post flyers looking for the owner of the bag.

Perhaps the positive publicity will persuade the authorities to release this law-abiding citizen?

Unfortunately, his plan backfires, and Rahim discovers that fame comes at a cost.

The film immerses us in the local culture and customs, but Rahim’s increasingly precarious situation is universal.

He is torn between conflicting impulses and must choose between his honor and his reputation.

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