I can't remember ever watching an Iranian movie, so I was awfully glad to catch a showing of The Salesman at Theatre Clwyd yesterday.
It proved to be an excellent watch.
Rana (Shahab Hosseini) and Emad (Taraneh Alidoosti) are an intellectual and arty married couple living in Tehran. He is a teacher of literature and both are actors in a fringe theatre company which is staging rehursals of Death of a Salesman.
Having to leave their apartment ( under threat of collapse during a frightening opening sequence) the couple take over the rent of an apartment formally frequented by a prostitute and their life together come to a dramatic and unexpected turn after Rana is assaulted by an unknown former associate of the former tenant.
Almost seamlessly, the drama slides from the interesting story of the domestic life of the Iranian middleclasses to a much darker story of revenge and lost trust as Emad searches for the assailant amid unspoken worries that Rana perhaps knew more than she is admitting to.
During his investigations, things get seriously embroiled and confused with parallels made between Emad's stage persona of Willy Lomax and his thwarted, impotent feelings as Rana's husband and all this done with the subtle yet interesting insights into the Government censorship of literature and theatre and the general attitude towards women in this world where an Iranian actress playing a goodtime girl in an Arthur Miller play has to wear a red hijab and floor length coat to signify her character!
Alidoosti is impressive as the husband who cannot quite deal with the emasculating nature of his wife's attack and Hosseini matches his performance as the wife who is initially shamed by events but who is ultimately disgusted by her husband's need for vengeance
Now I can share some news of Auntie Glad, who has been moved much nearer to home after " going walkabout" from her previous care home. The village jungle telegraph ( which according to Gladys' daughter is more effective than anything the CIA could ever find out) told me yesterday that the move was imminent and now Gladys is living in a home in Prestatyn, a town only a few minutes away!
Visiting her will be rather melancholy for me as the care home is the one my mother died at fifteen years ago.