Beyond Paradise full movie review - Deliciously Fresh Take On the Modern Love Affair
A deliciously fresh take on the modern love story with gripping dramatic moments. It's a poetic, passionate film that loves its characters.
I could not take eyes off of star Francia Raisa from the moment she graced the screen. She wholly embodies the role of Shahrzad and nails every emotion too a tee -- lust, shame, self-loathing, fear, artistic passion, and so much in between -- as the haunted and conflicted woman who escapes her oppressive homeland, and becomes the center of a complex love triangle in her newfound Western surroundings.
Ryan Guzman not only looks GOOD as Sebastian, the Spanish American gardener who captures the heart of Shahrzad, but really delivers both charm and sensitivity needed to set the sparks really do fly between the two of them.
Strong performances from the supporting cast -- especially impressive is Daphne Zuniga as a former movie star turned piano teacher also entangled in a love affair with Sebastian.
The characters also boast their own love affairs, so to speak, with the poems of Rumi and Lorca which playfully tie into the story. The soothing music of Tchaikovsky and Persian classical music effectively amp up the emotional level of the story, paired with equally rhythmic and playful visual intercutting. Great film all around.