Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Children of Heaven

Please spend Ten minutes in reading this review, and 90 minutes to watch this movie.
Movie: Children of Heaven (1997)
Country: Iran
Director: Majid Majidi
Cast: Amir Farrokh Hashemian (as Ali), Bahare Seddiqi (as Zahra)
Awards and Accolades: Nominated for Oscar Award. Critically acclaimed.
A simple tale of a brother and sister hailing from a very poor family. Zahra’s damaged shoes are given for repair. Ali goes and collects the repaired shoes. Ali keeps the shoes outside a shop and goes inside to buy provisions. Accidently a street peddler takes away the shoes along with the wastes. When Ali comes out, he finds the shoes missing. He returns home and informs this to Zahra. Zahra initially decides to inform this to parents but calms down as Ali convinces her that he would surely find the missing shoes. Siblings decide not to inform their parents about the missing shoes.

Ali comes up with an idea when Zahra asks him as what she would wear tomorrow. The idea is, Zahra will wear Ali’s shoes in the morning and hand it over to Ali. Ali would then wear it in the afternoon. Zahra agrees to this condition as she knows that her parents cannot buy a new one. They implement this idea and are quite successful in this. But everyday Ali goes late to school since he has to wait and collect the shoes from Zahra.

One day, Zahra finds her shoes on her schoolmate’s feet. Assuming that her classmate has stolen her shoes, she follows her and finds her house. She then takes Ali to her house to get the shoes. But they return after seeing her family situation which is worse than theirs.

Ali’s school organizes a running race. Ali who was not interested to be a part of the race at first, changes his mind later after he sees the poster which has the prize list. Third prize – A pair of sneakers. Ali breaks this news to Zahra and promises that he will end third in the race.

The race starts! Does Ali succeed in his attempt to win the sneakers? Was he able to keep the promise? Have they got the new pair of sneakers which they were yearning for? – Go, watch the movie!

Best parts of the movie!

Zahra and Ali’s splendid performance. Are these children from heaven?

Ali and Zahra communicate with each other by writing in their notebook. This is because they cannot talk about the lost shoes in front of their parents.

The movie carries very little music but aptly comes in the background. Rerecording for the racing scenes is brilliant.

Every time when Zahra runs to handover the shoes to Ali, I sit up.

The way Zahra tries to catch the shoe which falls into a gutter. The tension she shows on her face when running to catch the shoe is absolutely mind-blowing. This one scene left me at the edge of seat and my eyes were wet! Excellent GBM!

The whole running race episode. The way the director increases your tension during the running race. At one point during the race, Ali realizes that he is in the first place; so he slows down and lets two boys run ahead so that he can end third in the race. When Ali places himself in third position, a boy hits Ali wantonly and runs ahead; Ali falls down. Tension grips!

When Ali loses energy and slows down, the scene where Zahra runs fast to handover the shoes flashes his mind! He gears up and starts running fast! Re-recording for this running race is priceless. You’ll hear only the panting sound of Ali. This piece is very innovative! Again, my eyes brimmed with tears!

To conclude,
This movie is so realistic that almost every brother can relate this story and scenes with his life! The guy who is watching this movie would see himself in Ali and his sister in Zahra!

I strongly feel that this movie should be screened in every school for children on Children’s day! This is not a movie but a journey for me.



Anonymous said...

It is one astounding piece of art.The whole irony in the first and last scenes make it clear-It is a movie second to none.

Ramki said...

A series of article on world movies appeared in Ananda VIkatan. This was one of them

Gowtham said...

Very bad taste.

Vinith said...

dai... ozhunga padichuttu veetuku vandhu seru....

Ok. I'll try to write review for Alai, Kuthu, Kaalai etc :) :)

Anonymous said...

Simply awesome movie!!!!!!