Fireworks Wednesday (Chaharshanbe-soori) (2016)

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Movie Info

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's third feature, Chahar Shanbeh Suri (aka Fireworks Wednesday), follows Rouhi (Taraneh Alidoosti), a betrothed woman who works for a local housekeeping agency. When she accepts an assignment cleaning the home of an affluent married couple about to leave on vacation, this newcomer to the household is quickly sucked into a virulent nuptial conflict of deceit, treachery, and vitriol that challenges all of her presuppositions about the nature of married life. By cloaking the events of the household (and their precipitants) in ambiguity, and constantly shifting the central perspective of the film from one character to another, Farhadi adds depth and complexity to the work and continually challenges the audience, forcing each viewer to rewrite his or her presuppositions about the characters. Though the film's title refers, in the metaphoric sense, to the explosiveness of domestic strife, the events in the film coincide with the firework-strewn Persian New Year of March 21, which lends the title a literal significance as well. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Grasshopper Film

Cast

PanteA Bahrami
as Mrs. Simi
Pantea Bahram
as Mrs. Simi
Hedye Tehrani
as Mojdeh
Matin Heydar-nia
as Amir Ali
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Fireworks Wednesday (Chaharshanbe-soori)

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (16)

Farhadi manages to skirt the political and focus on human emotion, deception and frailty with such force that his setting and artistic restraints are rendered near irrelevant.

Full Review… | June 9, 2016
Detroit News
Top Critic

Tehran on the eve of the Muslim New Year provides the backdrop for this engrossing Iranian drama about a marriage in crisis.

Full Review… | April 28, 2016
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

[A] complex and magnificently acted melodrama ...

Full Review… | April 28, 2016
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Mournful, enigmatic and compulsively engrossing, "Fireworks Wednesday" gives viewers a chance to watch a master at work - before he was acknowledged as a master.

Full Review… | April 28, 2016
Washington Post
Top Critic

Any time you get to see a radiant bride-to-be (Taraneh Alidoosti) try on her dress and admire her reflection at the outset, you know that bliss is in the crosshairs.

Full Review… | April 21, 2016
San Diego Reader
Top Critic

It succeeds, as very few films do, with simultaneously presenting several distinct viewpoints without shortchanging any of them.

Full Review… | April 21, 2016
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Fireworks Wednesday (Chaharshanbe-soori)

A mildly intriguing look at marital life and strife told largely from an outside observer's perspective. While the story is capably handled and deftly told, however, I must also admit that there's not a lot here that's especially innovative, masterful or captivating. The sometimes-melodramatic narrative, with its allusions to infidelity and relationship discord, may be daring by Iranian audience standards, but it's hardly the stuff of groundbreaking material in the world of cinema at large. Also, its less-than-subtle metaphors grow a bit too obvious as the movie progresses. All in all, "Fireworks Wednesday" makes for a nice matinee offering but not a landmark work in the annals of filmmaking.

Facebook User
Facebook User

The more films I see by Asghar Farhadi the more I appreciate him. He just has a keen eye for the little moments and small details that make up life. Definitely one of his more focused films and an obvious precursor to his most recent films. Can't wait to see his other movies!

Michael Stuhlman
Michael Stuhlman

After being blown away by A Separation, I decided to delve into director Asghar Farhadi's oeurve. Fireworks Wednesday, centers around familiar terrain: a broken marriage, as see through the eyes of a young housekeeper, and by extension, the audience. Farhadi's directorial style is subtly powerful: he takes his time, and allows the information to creep in at its own pace, instead of feeling a more Westernized need to shoehorn it all into the first 10 minutes. He also seamlessly shifts our point of view over and over again, confronting the audience to think twice about any preconceived notions we might have about his characters -- our assumptions, and their reliability. He's not afraid to allow a scene to develop, and he fearlessly trusts his actors. He'll direct in a more "invisible" style, but he astutely knows when to mix it up and reposition the camera, or change vantage points to inform the audience about a character's motivations. In this film, the martial strife hits a fever pitch and culminates in a show stopping long shot down an elevator, and into the street that has to be seen to be believed. I honestly don't think it could have been shot any better, and the mis-en-scene is pitch perfect. A theme that occupies Farhadi appears to be the corrosive underbelly of Persian culture, and its stifling traditional values. This story takes place on Chaharshanbe Suri (the Persian New Year) and all throughout the film, you hear fireworks in the distance. Near the end of the film, there's this great sequence where two characters are driving in the car, and through the windows you see a succession of fireworks, and fire in the streets. After dwelling on these details for a minute or two, the metaphorical meaning seeps in -- these relationships are just as combustible. It's a subtle detail, but very powerful -- and, for me, that's a great way to describe Farhadi's style: subtle, but powerful.

Jonathan Hutchings
Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer

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