A hero movie 2021
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A Hero. Movie Review and Explanation. 2021 Movie.

Summary of the post

The following summary includes the list of the topics we will cover in our post related to “A Hero.”

Why you should watch A Hero

“A Hero” (original title is Ghahreman) is an Iranian’s movie released in 2021. It was in nomination at the 2022 Golden Globes for “Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language.” In addition, the director Asghar Farhadi won the “Grand Prix” Award at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

The premise tells you that “A Hero” is a movie that deserves our attention. It is the story of those who try to live to find a way out of the adversities of life, but in reality reveals a fragile, unfair world, ready to collapse at the first difficulty. Therefore, the film portrays the society of appearances.

Community and institutions don’t care about the real troubles of their people, and the final result amplifies the unsuccessful actions of those who should offer another opportunity to those who want to try to restart their life.

It’s a complex movie, precisely like the reality that we live. So let us guide you through the story to understand most of this film awarded worldwide.

Details about the movie

Release DateJanuary 2022 in the U.S.A.
CountryFrance Iran
Duration2 hours and 7 minutes
DirectorAsghar Farhadi
ActorsAmir Jadidi (Rahim Soltani) – Mohsen Tanabandeh (Bahram) – Sahar Goldust (Farkhondeh)

A Hero – The Story

Rahim Soltani is in prison because of a debt he could not repay. Therefore, during a two-days leave, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint against him. Rahim is ready to do everything he can to win back his freedom. He is willing to work hard to repay the debt, but Bahram is a man of principles, and he will make Rahim’s life not easy. That’s why Rahim needs to struggle to find a way out of his troubles. When his plan starts to work, many things will happen.

  • Will Rahim repay his debt?
  • Will he gain back his freedom?
  • And what’s the role of society and institutions in this story?

A Hero – Trailer

A Hero - Official Trailer | Prime Video

A Hero – Explanation and Review

(This section contains SPOILERS, we suggested to watch the movie first and then enjoy it.)

Who is a hero in our society?

The dictionary defines a hero as a person admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. And, looking at our story, we have a lot of people who try to become heroes. We witness attempts from Rahim to Bahram, from Mrs Radmehr, the director at the charity, to Mr Taheri, the official working at the prison. And the same we can mention about Hossein and Farkhondeh.

All the characters show us the willingness to do something good to help those who need their attention. But incredibly, all of them failed. So we have to say that the movie leaves a bitter taste in our minds. We probably notice an improvement in each of them during the story, but, anyway, it is not enough to prevent an unwanted finale. So, what happened?

Each character overplayed their role.

Rahim‘s plan probably was almost genuine. He wanted to pay his creditor, but he couldn’t convince Bahram. So, he had to change the strategy. Therefore, he wants the woman who lost the bag to call the prison. It becomes vital that someone could notice the good action.

a hero. movie
Rahim is on TV. Was the right choice?

Rahim’s mistakes.

But Rahim overplays the chance Mr Taheri offered him by calling the TV and the press. Instead, Rahim started to invent lies on finding the bag; then how the pen and the calculator didn’t work at the gold shop. Then, after he couldn’t find the actual owner of the bag, he agreed with Farkhondeh to fake her role in front of the council. Rahim lied to the charity, to the entire community, and attacked Bahram in his shop. He, also, tried to take advantage of his son troubles for his cause.

A simple story becomes the avalanche ready to overwhelm the whole system.

Anyway, Rahim becomes kind of a hero.

When everything collapses, Rahim amazes us with the good heart he has needed since the beginning. He doesn’t want to use his son to get out of his troubles. Instead, Rahim decides to go back to prison because his dignity and the one of his son are worth more than his freedom. Moreover, Rahim refuses even the last attempt from Mr Taheri to publish on social media the news that Rahim donated the money collected by the charity to someone ready to be hanged.

Rahim needs to use force to stop Taheri.

Undoubtedly Rahim’s character grows while facing difficulties. And his decision to shave his head and beard, almost creating a new character, more mature and at peace with himself, is the proof that we can improve and become better people. For this reason, Rahim is kind of a hero because, in the end, he refuses the last offer of Bahram to accept the money from the charity, and he decides to serve his sentence. In this gesture, we can see his courage and noble qualities, as the dictionary required.

And what about the other characters?

Bahram, from the beginning, was clear; he didn’t want to help Rahim because the damages he caused to his family were incredible. Bahram destroys the role of Rahim as a hero, honestly telling the truth. The real hero should be Bahram, who sacrificed his stability to help a family member. Bahram is the one who explains to the community that Rahim is a lair. And he is also the protagonist of releasing the video of Rahim’s attack in his shop, destroying any possibility of freedom for Rahim.

But also, Bahram has his hero’s moment.

Bahram in A Hero
Baharam confronts Rahim

In the end, Bahram accepts to take the money, a less amount than the initial 70,000 Rahim offered, just to give him a possibility to redeem himself and pay the debt month by month. But Rahim refused and preferred jail instead of living with the anxiety to be bullied again by everyone. After that, Bahram’s character changed positively too but, still, in vain.

Neither Rahim nor Bahram are heroes.

They are both victims of the political system and society. Even if both characters evolved, their simple story became a national topic. But it’s not their fault because the responsible are men of institutions, who involved TV and press for an average case that could be handled internally. This point opens the door to the next chapter, the role of social media within our society.

It’s the collapse of a fragile system, defeated by the power of social media.

The biggest mistake, probably, comes from Mr Taheri. If he didn’t involve the media, and he would try to handle the case internally, likely Rahim would succeed with his intention. But, unfortunately, the story becomes too big to be managed by our characters. Rahim tells him that it was his idea to invite the TV, but Taheri lies in front of his superior. For this reason, Taheri tries to help in any way Rahim, but he constantly fails.

taheri lies on a hero
Taheri lies to protect himself. Not a hero.

At this point, the story becomes a good chance for the local charity to raise money for Rahim and his stammering son. Initially, they don’t try to verify the case and just believe the whole saga. But when the truth about Rahim and the video of his aggression to Bahram emerges, their institution is ready to implode. And they are not alone, considering that the prison is in the same position. Two institutions risk their failure because a video could be released on the social network. And both of them suddendly don’t care anymore about Rahim’s drama.

What we learned from A Hero.

What we learn is that reputation worth more than money. And this is valid for each of our characters. Social networks have the power to destroy years of “good job” and a potential noble act because even those who will write the next comment, probably, wouldn’t understand the big picture and the drama of this story. But if authorities fear the socials, then there is something wrong within our community.

A hero tells us about a superficial society, working only to receive the consense of other people.
  • No one asked how Rahim could repay his debt being in prison?
  • Why doesn’t the government put him in a working position to raise the money he needs to repay his debt?
  • Who can get any benefit of keeping a man in jail instead of giving him another possibility?
  • And who is going to take care of his son?

The film highlights all the weaknesses of the current political system and the limits of people in charge in public institutions. And probably Rahim took the right decision hiding from a cruel society.

Metaphor and movie’s structure.

A Hero is a circular movie. It starts with Rahim leaving prison, and it finishes with him, changed inside and outside, going back to jail. So a lot happened in only two days, so much to leave us sceptical in front of this nonsense.

The stairs metaphor.

We want to highlight a metaphor we spotted at the film’s beginning. Rahim walks a lot to visit Hossein, and then he needs to climb many steps of the stairs before reaching him. When he finally arrives, Hossein invites him to go back downstairs. It looks like a powerful metaphor for what will happen during the story’s development. Rahim will need to make a lot of effort to reach his freedom, but, suddenly, he will need to go back to prison, exactly from where he started.

a hero
Rahim needs to climb many stairs to reach his freedom.

A Hero. Pros, Cons and Final Rating.


It’s a complex movie. We must highlight the performance delivered by Amir Jadidi in the role of Rahim; his smile and eyes are so expressive that we can feel all the emotions of Rahim. But also Sahar Goldust in the part of Farkhondeh and Mohsen Tanabandeh as Bahram. The story highlights several limitations within the current political system. A bit like “Don’t look up,” the movie wants to open our eyes to some absurdities that don’t deliver justice in the end. It’s indeed a must-watch. 


The director Asghar Farhadi won an Oscar with “A Separation” in 2012. He is not a novice, and we can admire his job. However, we feel that the cinematography is a bit poor. Especially the photography is not excellent. On the other hand, we admired incredible movies this year, such as “Jai Bhim” or “The Power of the Dog” to mention some. Unfortunately, we can’t say that “A Hero” delivers the same quality in cinematography.

Rahim and Farkhondeh in a hero
Farkhondeh and Rahim. The 17 coins Rahim seems to ignore.

The trailer’s style probably would emphasise the story, with sustaining music in the background and more drama. Those are chaotic moments for Rahim and the other guys, but we can’t feel the time ticking, the pressure coming, the desperation of our characters. So instead, the director delivers a quiet drama, while the potential should exhaust us as the characters should feel.

The music could be better, and we couldn’t connect to any of the characters. The story is powerful but, in our opinion, could be told in a better way. The climax generated doesn’t seem to flow and naturally find its catharsis. Nevertheless, A Hero is a fantastic movie, and we can clap to the final product.

Our final rating for A Hero is:


Where you can watch A Hero?

The movie is currently available on Amazon Prime Video, but check this link to see where you can watch it in your country.

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