'Super Star'

A handsome but arrogant actor living in the fast lane finds the willpower to turn his life around.

A handsome but arrogant actor living in the fast lane finds the willpower to turn his life around thanks to an angelic teen in “Super Star,” the 11th feature from Iranian writer-helmer Tahmineh Milani (“Cease Fire”). A departure from the director’s usual femme-centered pics, this slick melodrama with comedic elements reps escapist commercial fare on home turf — where it’s still onscreen — with a reported gross of more than $1 million so far. Offshore, specialized theatrical will segue into homevid.

When he’s not raising hell on the set of his latest film, debt-ridden, chain-smoking libertine Kourosh (Shahab Hosseini, who nabbed the Fajr Film Fest’s actor kudo) is juggling half a dozen women. Things change when he meets 16-year-old Raha (bright-eyed newcomer Fataneh Malek-Mohammadi, chosen from more than 1,000 auditioning candidates). Claiming she is his daughter, the byproduct of an early relationship he’s nearly forgotten, resourceful Raha gently encourages a variety of reforms. Producer and production designer Mohammad Nikbin, a well-known architect, creates a splendidly cold white-on-white apartment for Kourosh into which Raha brings color and warmth. Rest of the tech package is pro.

Super Star

Iran

Production

An Iranian Film Society (in U.S.) release of a Nima Films presentation of an Artabin production. (International sales: Farabi Cinema Foundation, Tehran.) Produced by Mohammad Nikbin. Directed, written by Tahmineh Milani.

Crew

Camera (color), Alireza Zarrindast; editor, Mastaneh Mohajer; music, Naser Cheshmazar; production designer, Mohammad Nikbin; sound (Dolby SR), Ehsan Khanzadi. Reviewed on DVD, Chicago, June 17, 2009. (In Fajr Film Festival; Cannes Film Festival -- market.) Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Shahab Hosseini, Fataneh Malek-Mohammadi.
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