Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero” is Really an “Anti-Hero”.

A Hero

Rahim

There are movies, albeit rare ones, in which the protagonist is so inherently uninteresting, that you just give up on him at around the thirty minute mark. A perfect example is Rahim, the titular character in Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest movie “A Hero”. Farhadi is a two-time Oscar winner for Best International Film with “A Separation” (2011) and “A Salesman” (2016)

An Anti-Hero

Rahim is actually an anti-hero. I dont mean a brilliantly realized, self-centered anti-hero like, for instance, Paul Newman in “Hud”. I mean a character that is so self-serving that he harms everyone he comes in contact with.

A Hero. Asghar Farhadi's

Rahim’s son.

Out of debtor’s prison on a two-day parole, Rahim (Amir Jadidi) meets up with his long-suffering girlfriend. Her first piece of news is that she just happened to have found a handbag full of gold coins in the street. Rahim wants to sell the coins to pay off his debt. However, they quickly learn that the coins are not made of gold but some lesser element down the Periodic Table. Rahim has no trouble adjusting to this news and then formulating a new scenario in which he is the person who found the coins. So, thanks with the aid of said girlfriend, his sister and his son he peppers the neighborhood with flyers so that when the when the owner calls and claims the coins, Rahim can claim to be will be a great big hero! In fact, only the boy, who has a speech impediment, strikes the right emotional note in the movie.

A Hero

“The Purple Rose of Cairo”

The movie plods along like this, from one Rahim-inspired scheme to the next. Eventually, you find yourself wanting to do a reverse “Purple Rose of Cairo” and urge all of the unfortunate people in his orbit to run for the hills and get on with their lives. I was glad when the movie was finally over.

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