The latest film from Iranian director Fereydoun Jeyrani evokes the spirit of Hitchcock as it weaves a complex tale of marital infidelity, dark power relationships and the lengths to which love and obsession drive people.
Massoud takes his wife Nassim to a mental asylum as she has shut herself off from the rest of the world. Her nurse Sahra is initially intrigued by Nassim’s case as she discovers that Massoud might not be all he claims to be. But, as she discovers more about Massoud and Nassim, Sahra finds herself falling under the influence of Massoud and intrigue quickly turns in to love. Soon Sahra discovers that she is travelling a path from which there is no escape.
Shot in crisp black and white, cinematographer Masood Salami creates an air of claustrophobia throughout Asphyxia as we are presented with a world of interiors, small rooms and characters trapped by circumstance. This tangible air of oppression is amplified by Navid Mohammadzadeh’s performance as Massoud, a man whose ability to manipulate those around him is quietly terrifying.Indeed, as much as Jeyrani has created a taut psychological thriller, Asphyxia is also a poignant statement on the treatment of women within a society that places all power and control in the hands of men.