Cannes Film Festival 2021: In A Hero, Asghar Farhadi delivers a tale about ethics and integrity with a fairly engaging script

Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi’s latest Cannes competition entry A Hero is a social drama about moral dilemmas and the alacritous flexibility of principles. As far as the subject matter is concerned, Farhadi has not veered off his usual themes, holding up a mirror, and offering his viewers glimpses into the psyche of contemporary Iranian society. Weaving together brilliant performances and a fairly engaging script, Farhadi delivers a tale about ethics and integrity, and how they clash with each other when personal stakes are greater.

Shot during the pandemic in Shiraz and readied in time to debut at Cannes, the distribution rights of A Hero have already been scooped up by Amazon, and it is expected to drop on Prime video soon. Farhadi, a Cannes favourite, attended the premiere alongside his cast on the Croisette, where he received a standing ovation lasting several minutes even before the screening began. The film will compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or.

‘A Hero’ was screened at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, which attracted foreign media and film critics.

Renowned actors such as Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Fereshteh Sadr-Orafai and Sarina Farhadi starred in the drama.

‘A Hero’ will compete with 23 films by filmmakers from France, the Netherlands, Finland, Japan, the United States, Chad, Thailand, Australia, Russia, Belgium, Hungary, Italy and Norway for the Palme d’Or.

Following Farhadi’s award for best screenplay in 2016 for ‘The Salesman,’ his presence in this year’s Cannes Film Festival has prompted critics and media to publish various critiques.

The film attracted the admiration of film critics because of his special filmmaking style.

Charlotte Pavard, an international journalist, wrote on the official website of the festival, “With ‘A Hero’, Asghar Farhadi has allowed himself a remarkable return to Iran.”

Deadline, an American website, described Farhadi’s movie: “An excellent deed goes unhealthy in Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes Film Festival competitors title ‘A Hero’, a thought-provoking watch which is maybe the filmmaker’s most delicate and heartfelt movie since ‘A Separation’.”

Hollywood Reporter wrote: “Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi returns to his native Iran with this story about truth-telling, honor and the price of freedom.”

Variety interviewed Farhadi on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival, where he said: “From time to time in the news in Iran you get stories about very average people who in their daily lives do something that is very altruistic. And that humane way of making them very noticeable in society for a few days, and then they are forgotten. The story of the rise and fall of these kinds of people was really what interested me.”

The Iranian filmmaker also told the American media company owned by Penske Media Corporation: “When I started working on the story I wasn’t so aware of social media. I developed that aspect when I realized that this is something so pervasive in every society around the world these days. It has become such a powerful tool of communication in every society and there are no borders. It’s the same in Iran and the rest of the world.”