Asghar Farhadi tells the story of a couple, both actors, whose lives are disrupted by a forced relocation. The deliberately simple narrative follows this seemingly care-free couple, whose relationship is suddenly jeopardised by events beyond their control. In the film, Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) are performing in the famous Arthur Miller play, Death of a Salesman, chosen by the Iranian filmmaker for its portrayal of human relations and the downfall of a certain social class.
The parallels with his own middle-class characters are evident throughout. The ‘travelling salesman’ in the play lives in New York, while Emad and Rana are in Tehran: two vertical, frenetic and anarchic cities, both of which move forward at breakneck speed, leaving the past in their wake.
This director of "social realism" has focused his plot, as he so often does, on the family home, with the house playing a crucial role.