Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has developed a following in the last few years with films like The Past, About Elly, and the Best Foreign Language Oscar winner, A Separation (for which Farhadi also received a writing nomination). That means that we now get to see some of his earlier work, such as his 2006 film Fireworks, out Wednesday.
With the Iranian New Year as a backdrop, Roohi, a young bride-to-be is hired as a house cleaner for an affluent Tehran family. But she soon discovers that there are issues between the husband and wife. The wife enlists Roohi’s help in spying on her husband and her next door neighbor with whom she believes her husband is having an affair. Roohi gets caught up in shifting loyalties and in the web of lies that she begins to uncover. Worst of all, it may threaten to undo her trust in the bonds of marriage she is about to enter.
The film is structured as a thriller with bits of information and misinformation being dispensed a bit at a time. We, like Roohi, are very much in the dark about these two people and their problems. We also may have questions at the end about what should be done with that information. That gives the film just a small touch of a film noir quality in that we see a dark side of everyday life and are not quite sure how Roohi should respond to what she discovers.
Even though there may be some cultural differences, this really is a very universal film. Issues of infidelity and suspicion are common in marriages regardless of where people live. The distrust that Roohi encounters has poisoned the marriage of these two people. Will the experience spread the seeds of doubt as she enters her own marriage?