Like everything Farhadi does, this is formulaic, very well-acted, heavily scripted (like an action film), enjoyable and forgettable. The main differences here are that the underlining social consideration doesn't pack any punch and that the mise-en-scène is profoundly uninspired.
Farhadi knows how to tell a story. With intensity in his patience and eye for detail, he builds thrilling plot out of ordinary circumstances, and enriches it with thought provoking ideas. Like always, he yet again manages to draw remarkable performances from his cast. About Elly and A Seperation are two more films I would recommend from his filmography.
The Salesman covers a lot of social commentary over the course of 2 hours in an incredibly focused way–the most devastating of said commentaries being the role of women in the Middle East. The idea of revenge isn't glamorous here, as so many films make it out to be. It's a tragic mess that only serves to leave those who seek it in worse condition than ever intended. Superb acting and directing.
It's five stars, because the writing and the directing is superb. There are details as the one about the money which are priceless and the work of a genius. Maybe not for everybody but for me it is the perfect combination of words and images, into a universal sharing of ideas and feelings which goes quite beyond the idea of Iran or of a different society. It's a perfect tapestry. The best reason to go to the cinema.