Monday, January 30, 2012

The Color of Paradise - Movie Review

This is a movie that has been on my desk for months together now. Sagar had given me this DVD along with a bunch of other Irani films but for some reason I postponed watching it. When I saw it today, I could not but help wondering at the film making ability of the Iranian film makers, Majid Majidi, in particular. To take a simple theme and play it upon your heart strings so well, so deeply - its the work of a master. Never will forget this movie, ever.

'The Color of Paradise' is the story of a blind boy Muhammad who studies in a school for the blind in Teheran. On the vacation break all parents come to take their children except his father who comes late, reluctantly. Muhammad knows his father does not love him and feels that he is a burden to his father. The scene when he runs to his father and says 'I thought you would not come' had me - and I cried. The duo go to their village where his two sisters and granny live on a farm. Muhammad's father Hashem now wants to marry again (his first wife is dead) and starts the proceedings with a girl's family around. Meanwhile Muhammad is having a great time with his sisters and his granny and even goes to their school and impresses everyone with his knowledge and skill with Braille. But Hashem is ashamed of his blind son and thinks it might impede his marriage plans, and one day when the granny is away, takes his son to a blind carpenter and leaves him there. When Hashem returns he finds his mother is leaving him; she dies eventually, worrying more about her weak son and less about her blind grandson. Her death is seen as ominous by the future in laws and they call of the marriage. Hashem brings the boy back but on the way back home the boy and the horse he is sitting on, fall into the river. Hashem waits for a moment, not sure if he wants to rescue the boy who is drowning but finally decides to save his son. But it may have been too late. Never have I prayed more that the last scene would show some sign of life in the lifeless boy's body. And for making a movie like this, Majid Majidi, I salute you.

This movie killed me. I cannot even try to describe the emotions that it took me on in its simple story, in man's quest to find love from those who somehow refuse to give it to them. The blind boy, his father, his granny, his sisters, his teachers - that is about the entire cast. The movie is shot so well that it does appear to be paradise, every shot is so visually arresting that it sinks into you. But the story in itself went deep into my heart and my soul and I felt for the blind boy and his wanting to be with his sisters, his granny, wanting his father's love. It seems so pointless, so sad, to want love, to feel equal. to want to try so hard to be like so many others. Majid Majidi, take a bow. Muhammad and Hashem and this movie will remain forever with me. Truly master class. If I could think of one story like this, in its simplicity, in its human drama, I'd consider it a huge achievement. And if you have not seen this movie don't even think twice, watch it. You've seen nothing if you haven't seen this.

1 comment:

ಭಾಶೇ said...


Made me want to watch it.