Iranian drama movie, A Hero, has won several awards in international film festivals. It has also been selected as the Iranian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards.
Written and directed by the Oscar-winning celebrated filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, A Hero landed on Amazon Prime Video on January 21, 2022.
A Hero tells the tale of an ordinary man, Rahim, serving time in prison because of his inability to pay back the loan amount he had borrowed from a loan shark. Desperate to get out of this situation, he comes up with a plan to repay his debt while he is out of prison on a two day leave.
Read on to know more about Rahim’s predicament and whether he can drag himself out of this mess or not, spoilers included.
The Plot of A Hero
The beginning of A Hero shows Rahim coming out of prison on a two-day leave and meeting his family.
Back home, Rahim discloses to his brother-in-law, Hossein, that he has found a way to repay the loan amount partially and asks Hossein to get in touch with Bahram, the loan shark. Barham, however, insists on receiving full payment before he pulls back his case against Rahim.
Rahim’s girlfriend, Farkhondeh, finds a handbag containing seventeen gold coins at a bus stop, which the couple plans to sell to raise money to repay his debt.
However, on an appraisal of the gold coins by a jeweller, Rahim finds that the price of the gold coins alone is not enough to pay back his debt. This realisation makes Rahim decide that he is going to return the bag and its contents to its rightful owner.
When Rahim is unable to locate the bag’s owner, he leaves ads about the lost bag mentioning his prison phone number in the ads.
While in prison, Rahim receives a call from a lady claiming to be the owner of the bag. Rahim asks the lady to go to his sister, Malileh’s house. The lady collects her bag from Rahim’s sister and profusely thanks Rahim for his good deed.
Very soon, from the word of mouth publicity, this act of Rahim comes into public knowledge, and a local TV channel even interviews him. When his interview becomes popular, Rahim becomes a hero in the public eyes.
Rahim’s good deed becomes the talk of the town, and a local charitable organisation holds a fundraiser to repay his debt. Bahram is asked to take back his case against Rahim, and Rahim is also promised a job on coming out of the prison.
A Hero Ending Explained: What Happened to Rahim?
Bahram, who is very jealous of Rahim’s newfound popularity, decides to dig deep into the matter and finds holes in Rahim’s story.
As the story of Rahim faking his good deed spreads on social media, Rahim starts losing his supporter base. A panicked Rahim confronts Bahram, where Bahram’s daughter makes a video of their altercation.
Concerned about its reputation, the charitable organisation pulls out of this and decides to divert the money they had raised to repay Rahim’s debt to a woman whose husband is about to be executed.
Though Farkhondeh manages to convince the organisation to give the credit of helping the woman to Rahim, the video uploaded online by Bahram’s daughter does irreparable damage to Rahim’s reputation.
A desperate Rahim seeks his prison superintendent, Taheri’s help in making a sentimental video of his son (from his previous marriage), who has a speech impairment, appealing to the public to help his father.
However, on self-introspection, Rahim finds it revolting to use his innocent son as a pawn to win himself an acquittal and decides against using the video.
Taking full responsibility for his actions, in the closing scenes of A Hero, we find Rahim going back to prison while another prisoner is being released.
Rahim had borrowed the money to start a business venture, but his partner cheated on him, creating all this mess. The fact that Bahram had loaned him the money he had kept aside for his daughter’s dowry had made Bahram a nemesis of Rahim.
That Rahim is able to stand up for his actions and his refusal to use his son as his shield actually makes him a hero. A prisoner being released in the ending scene of the movie gives a positive sign that someday, Rahim, too, will be released from the prison and will be able to start life afresh.