Fireworks Wednesday

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Fireworks Wednesday
(چهارشنبه سوری)
Fireworks-wednesday.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Produced by Jamal Saadatian
Written by Asghar Farhadi
Mani Haghighi
Starring Hedye Tehrani
Taraneh Alidoosti
Hamid Farokhnezhad
Music by Payman Yazdanian
Cinematography Hossein Jafarian
Edited by Haideh Safiyari
Distributed by Boshra Films
Grasshopper Film (United States)
Release date
2006 (Iran)
March 16, 2016
(United States)
Language Persian

Fireworks Wednesday (Persian: چهارشنبه سوری ‎‎, Chaharshanbe Suri) is a 2006 Iranian film directed by Asghar Farhadi and co-written by Farhadi and Mani Haghighi. It stars Hedyeh Tehrani, Taraneh Alidousti, and Hamid Farokhnezhad.

Plot[edit]

The film portrays the life of a turbulent couple, Mozhdeh and Morteza Samiei, as they prepare for a vacation to Dubai the morning after Chaharshanbe Suri, a festival held on the eve of Wednesday before Nowruz. Morteza orders Rouhi, a maid and bride-soon-to-be, to help the couple clean their apartment, though Mozhdeh initially insists that she is not required.

While she is doing her work, Rouhi learns piece by piece what is happening between the two: Mozhdeh suspects that Morteza is seeing their divorced neighbor, Simin, behind her back, after discovering Simin's phone number in the logs. Simin, meanwhile, is working as a beautician, which disturbs the neighborhood due to all the noises, eventually leading to a court order imposed against her to either quit or leave. As Morteza says that he would not come home until 5 PM, Mozhdeh sets Rouhi, who wants her eyebrow trimmed, to ask Simin if she is also unavailable until 5 PM; her fears are confirmed.

Simin, though, has enough time to trim Rouhi's eyebrows; there, Rouhi overhears that Simin knows when the Samiei are due to depart to Dubai. When she goes back to the Samiei, she finds her chador taken by Mozhdeh, who wants to spy on Morteza, leaving her to take the Samiei' son, Amirali, home from school. Morteza is enraged upon learning these and publicly beats Mozhdeh. Fed up, Mozhdeh decides to move to her sister and brother-in-law's residence with Amirali, refusing to hear Morteza's apologies. To calm the situation down, Rouhi lies about the reason why Simin knows their departure time.

Morteza offers Rouhi a ride home in exchange for accompanying him and Amirali to see the fireworks. He leaves the two for a while and meets with Simin in private, confirming that the two are indeed having an affair; to his dismay, though, Simin wants them to separate, as she does not want to break up the Samiei. Rouhi later sniffs Simin's perfume scent on the way home (she has previously scented her hand with Simin's perfume) and realizes the truth. However, she ultimately chooses not to tell Mozhdeh.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Upon the release at Fajr International Film Festival, the film gained critical acclaim in its home country where it won 3 Crystal Simorgh.

Deborah Young of Variety wrote in her review: "Few Iranian films have tried to realistically depict both the urban middle and lower classes, and fewer still with the complexity of story telling and depth of characterization in Asghar Farhadi's impressive third feature, Fireworks Wednesday... The quality of the production is evident in Hossein Jafarian's fluid cinematography and Hayedeh Safyari's nervous editing. The final scenes are a tour de force in which the bonfire-strewn streets fill with merrymakers and the exploding fireworks look as dangerous as a war, an apt metaphor for the everyday violence in the characters' lives."[1]

Sheila O'Malley of Slant Magazine praised the movie as well as Hedyeh Tehrani's performance: " Hedyeh Tehrani, a delectable actress, plays Mozhde, the depressed wife. This is a marvelous performance, layered, painful, heartfelt. It's a difficult part... Tehrani has one of those malleable expressive faces so beloved by cameras everywhere. She thinks something, and it shows. She feels something, and we get it. The scenes of the fights with her husband are electric, exhilarating to watch. They feel like real arguments and have a jagged chaos to them that is truly frightening."[2]

In another review Jeffrey M. Anderson of Combustible Celluloid gave the film 3 & 1/2 Stars (out of 4) and praised originality of Iranian cinema: "One of the things I love about Iranian cinema is that it seems to inspire itself. Even a decade after the first Iranian "New Wave" films began appearing in the United States in 1997, Iranian filmmakers have refused to "go Western" and use Hollywood methods in their films. Rather, Iranian filmmakers have continued to work with the original ideas and methods that made their cinema exciting in the first place... Director Asghar Farhadi takes his time, allowing information to creep in at its own pace rather than trying to force it all upon us in the first ten minutes. But the most vivid element is his well-rounded characters: men and women truly relating to one another in both positive and negative lights."[3]

Geoff Andrew of Time Out wrote: "What distinguishes the film is the way Farhadi keeps us guessing from as to what exactly is happening and why; repeatedly shifting our point of view, he forces us to question our assumptions about characters and their reliability. This compelling, corrosive account of male-female relationships in today’s Tehran is tempered by genuine compassion for the individuals concerned; wisely, Farhadi never serves judgement on them in their troubled pursuit of truth, love and happiness. Intelligent, illuminating and directed with unflashy expertise."[4]

Accolades[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Young, Deborah (February 7, 2006). "Review: ‘Fireworks Wednesday’". Variety. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
  2. ^ Sheila O'Malley (April 30, 2007). "...and Wednesday too: Asghar Farhadi’s Fireworks Wednesday". Slant Magazine. 
  3. ^ Jeffrey M. Anderson. "Combustible Celluloid Review - Fireworks Wednesday (2006)". 
  4. ^ Geoff Andrew (October 27, 2006). "Fireworks Wednesday". Time Out London. 
  5. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0845439/awards

External links[edit]