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Fireworks Wednesday 

Wednesday, Apr 13 2016
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Gotta hand it to Asghar Farhadi: When he promises fireworks in the title of Fireworks Wednesday, he delivers, both literally and figuratively. Rouhi (Taraneh Alidoosti) is a young, bushy-tailed bride-to-be who takes a job as a maid for a comparatively well-to-do couple in Tehran, unaware that as she enters their apartment building, she's walking into the middle of a soap opera. Mojdeh (Hediyeh Tehrani) is certain that her boorish husband Morteza (Hamid Farokhnezhad) is cheating on her with beautician neighbor Simin (Pantea Bahram), and the increasingly unhinged Mojdeh enlists the increasingly confounded Rouhi as a spy. Meanwhile, it's Persian New Year, celebrated by a day and night of incendiaries on the street. The effect on the nerves is not unlike the Alfred Molina scene inBoogie Nightsstretched out to feature length: By the nighttime, it's taken on an apocalyptic feeling, complete with shit on fire in the street, that mirrors Rouhi's own descent into the troubled world of seemingly respectable people.A film about women in Iran can't not be to some extent about gender roles — true for all countries, really — and significant themes include who should wear a chador when, and the eternal tension between looking good and not being seen in a deeply misogynistic society. All this — and fireworks, too.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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