The film begins with an introduction to Rahim (Amir Jadidi). Rahim is currently in prison due to being unable to repay a heavy debt. While in prison, he is given leave entitlements to see his loved ones and others close to him. When Rahim is released for a two-day leave period, he decides to revisit the creditor to provide an update on his finances and perhaps even request that he be given a second chance and freedom.
With Rahim’s short leave period coming to an end, he feels all hope is lost until he is given an opportunity that may work in his favour. With nothing to lose, Rahim makes choices that help him look like a hero among the public and, hopefully, in the eyes of the creditor. But unfortunately for Rahim, what begins as a smart yet simple plan becomes more complex, tricky, and highly dangerous for Rahim himself and others around him. Can Rahim permanently find a way out of prison and get himself out of a situation that could have disastrous consequences?
A Hero is best described as a drama film with some tension that builds up slowly as we watch Rahim try and find light in a new, dark, and disastrous situation. Here, the clock is ticking, and viewers will find themselves fairly supportive of Rahim as a character, generally feeling sorry for him as he encounters one problem after the next and continually tries to find a solution. Each problem only builds towards a touching, powerful conclusion in the third act. After the film passed the one hour mark, I found myself highly invested in the storyline, rather curious to know Rahim’s fate and whether he would obtain a solid victory by the end.
All around, performances are extremely pleasing, and Amir Jadidi as Rahim is praiseworthy. More exciting praise goes to the director’s work behind the camera. Directed by Asghar Farhadi, the film’s style is great. Everything on-screen is highly convincing and feels extremely raw and real, from the look to the performances. Pacing, for the most part, is also great, but I can’t deny the film has moments that feel complex during certain discussions, which cause it to drag. With dramatic moments displayed on-screen and unpredictable outcomes, audiences may even feel frustrated several times at Rahim and some of the painful situations that occur.
Overall, this film is highly satisfying. Its story is familiar, yet it’s still highly entertaining thanks to the performances that feel realistic and raw. The cinematic style captures and creates tension, and all the dramas throughout are a delight. A Hero is a story that’s not only dramatic but is slow-burning and builds tension along the way. The final conclusion is unpredictable, and our lead’s journey takes quite an emotional investment from its viewers, even possibly frustrating some with the continual challenges at every turn. Those seeking a tense drama should certainly add this film to their cinematic radar.