Capabilities of the Art of Acting of Poulad Kimiai and Supervising a Film as a Director
Article No. 461: Published in a Film Magazine – April 5, 2022
Killing a Traitor (2022) is the latest film by Masoud Kimiai after Domestic Killer (2016) and There Was Blood (2020) in the last five years and it will be coming soon to theaters. It’s an eventful socio-political drama with a story full of thrills and the maximum actions of the characters in front of each other have created different performances from the actors. There is also the character of Poulad Kimiai who has a decisive role in leading the story; an admirable role which shows once again his outstanding ability in playing challenging and extroverted roles. This article aims at examining this aspect of his work.
Poulad Kimiai is a rare example of acting in our country. He is popular among the large cinema audience and has many highest-grossing films in his career. On the other hand, he has been praised by the domestic film festivals and critics over the past few years.
We need to analyze how an actor can make rapid progress, evolve and become a cinematic and audience-oriented icon. Kimiai started his career from a walk-on role in The Lead (1988). Then he became famous and popular with completely different roles in The Trade (1995) and Sultan (1996) and also had a totally typical character with simple and appropriate makeup, became gradually one of the highest-grossing stars of Iranian cinema and was admired by film festivals and critics of social cinema. We can’t find anyone like him in our own cinema at least in recent years.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, Poulad Kimiai has become a rare example in the Cinema of Iran after The Iranian Revolution (1979) and is considered to be a special actor in this area. Every actor or film star who became popular and guaranteed ticket sales for the past 40 years and carried the title of a star had a special and unchanged characteristic in similar works such as Jamshid Hashempour in the 1980s and his excellent roles in action and crime films, Abolfazl Poorarab who played roles of a lover in the 1990s, Hediyeh Tehrani, a symbol in the world of reformist women in the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, the good-looking Mohammad Reza Golzar and humorous Reza Attaran in the last few years.
But what characteristics does Poulad Kimiai have? His characteristics cannot be summarized or mentioned in one clear category, but we can say that he’s been a talented actor with a number of different roles in social and artistic works as well as a few roles in entertaining, audience-oriented and highest-grossing comedy films.
However, after all these years of acting besides directing Reverse (2019) which is a controversial film, there are many people who are still skeptical of his position as a film star in the Cinema of Iran, but we believe that it is possible to have an analysis of his position with a brief overview of his career and comparing two different styles of his works.
Guidance Patrol 3 (2021) is currently the second highest-grossing film in the history of Iranian cinema after Dynamite (2021), starring Poulad Kimiai and Saed Soheili. This is a good example for considering Kimiai as a popular and highest-grossing comedy actor who takes the lead by playing in any political, comedy or social film even without considering the highest-grossing comedy films such as Wing Mirror (2017), Oxidant (2017) and We Are All Together (2019) and his films have always been among the highest-grossing ones.
Typifying roles in addition to his creative improvisations in comedy films have made Kimiai very popular in this genre. Many people believe that Kimiai is one of the most popular Iranian actors due to his growing popularity during all these years.
However, it seems that he isn’t happy with this position. The number of his comedy films has decreased significantly after the successful release of Guidance Patrol 1 in 2012, and he consciously intends to play more serious roles permanently and avoid being considered as a highest-grossing comedy actor. This can be regarded as a double-edged sword. This choice, on the one hand, can strengthen Kimiai’s position in serious roles and on the other hand, it can harm both his popularity among the audience and position in the cinema, apart from taking away a talented actor from the vulnerable Cinema of Iran.
Poulad Kimiai and Social Melodrama Films
Kimiai’s latest five films are worthy of mention here. Metropole (2014), Domestic Killer (2016), Asphyxia (2017), Reverse (2019) and Killing a Traitor (2022) are five different films which aren’t comedy and are mostly considered as bitter social films. Therefore, his highest-grossing films are not definitely limited to comedy. In this regard, we can mention Kimiai’s collaboration with Rasul Sadr Ameli’s critically acclaimed film called Life with Closed Eyes (2010) and Fereydoun Jeyrani’s highest-grossing film called Asphyxia (2017). These films defamiliarized Kimiai with political and adventurous themes and introduced him to the audience with an entirely different character.
Poulad Kimiai’s acting skills in various roles and his breadth of choices, from the most positive to the most negative characters, have helped him choose and play a wide range of roles in our cinema. This fearless actor has been successful in any genre with constant challenge and by trial and error, regardless of the usual considerations and position of a film star. This could be the reason why he is a rare phenomenon and example in the Cinema of Iran and even as a director, he made one of the most different and beautiful films of recent years called Reverse (2019), which not only implies that he has a good command of storytelling, but also possesses vast knowledge of form and technique in filmmaking.