Imagine The Creators Of Homeland Directing Closer
Two married couples in Tehran discover they look precisely alike. Blood tests confirm there is no relation. It’s not fate or even chance but the discovery leads to violence that will destroy their lives. There are many moments in which the husband of the more tolerant couple helps the wife of the aggressive husband carry out things her husband said no to. It is in these long scenes that your heart starts pounding as plans fall apart and exposure is near. They are not spies but what they end up doing is not all that different for them. They are spies within the towering walls of their own lives. Imagine the creators of Homeland directing Closer. That’s what Subtraction is. A smart drama thriller that deals with gender inequality, prepartum depression, and the repression of justified rage.
Subtraction loses itself in the end by succumbing to a storyline the film really could have done without. The names of the characters are revealed very early on but Subtraction would have been just as powerful without knowing them. Despite the disconnect in both marriages, they do know each other but it’s that sincerity of knowledge that keeps them in circumstances they can’t climb out of. The cinematography is mesmerizing as it rains over the highway of Tehran. The shots of vastness and wide openness these characters occasionally find themselves in are when they feel at their most powerful. They can’t be around each other. They can’t be around anyone. The difficulties of the world always stem from coexistence with other people. Subtraction is a harrowing parable of truth and identity none of the characters are ready to face. The rest of us may not be either.
“Subtraction.” IMDb, IMDb.com, 1 Nov. 2022, https://m.imdb.com/title/tt13920920/?ref_=ttrel_rel_tt.