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Haunted by a tragic past, Shahrzad, a stunning music student, flees her homeland and ends up in an estranged marriage in Los Angeles, where her piano teacher's lover sparks a passion in her that threatens to destroy everything.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Elana
...
Rachel
...
...
...
Zara (Tehran flashback)
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Hosain (Tehran flashback)
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Parissa
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Dr. Richards
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Faraz (Tehran flashback)
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Ray
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Sean
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Kira
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1st Immigration Officer
Dennis Nicomede ...
Music Executive
...
Sebastian's mother (off screen) (voice)
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Storyline

Destiny weaves a love triangle: Shahrzad (Francia Raisa), a ravishing music student, her husband Sean (Max Amini), a rising stand-up comedian, and Sebastian (Ryan Guzman), a poetic Spanish-American gardener. Caught in the middle is Shahrzad's piano teacher, Elana (Daphne Zuniga), a former screen femme fatale, who is having her own furtive affair with Sebastian. Soon Sebastian falls in love with Shahrzad. Shahrzad discovers her convenience marriage with Sean is doomed. Unexpectedly, a friendship flourishes between Shahrzad (Muslim) and her piano teacher Elana (Jewish), nourished by their passion for classical music, especially Tchaikovsky's. It grows stronger when they learn of each other's secret tragedies. Shahrzad attracts the attention of two women, Elana and Parisa, her mother-in-law. Simultaneously, Shahrzad becomes the object of desire for three men: Sebastian, Sean, and Ray (Misha Crosby), the loner, young brother-in-law. Infusing the young lovers' secret romance are Rumi's ... Written by Zoya Skya

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor
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Details

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Release Date:

1 January 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Birds of Paradise  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.40:1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Elana: [to 'Shahrzad' Francia Raisa at 'Elana' Daphne Zuniga's bed] Life is a gift. But Youth is magic. Don't waste it.
Elana: I've had my magic. Not even cancer can take that away!
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User Reviews

 
Deliciously Fresh Take On the Modern Love Affair
14 November 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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