Film : Beyond The Clouds

Director: Majid Majidi

Cast: Ishaan Khattar and Malavika Mohanan

Rating: ***1/2

Right during that stunning opening shot, wherein the stark contrast between lifestyle of Mumbai is shown, you would know that the film is not directed by an Indian. The Iranian critically acclaimed auteur Majid Majidi carves a hard hitting tale on hope.

Aamir (Ishaan Khatter) is a drug peddler and operates in the slums and poverty-stricken areas of Mumbai; areas which comprises of thugs and red light districts. After a police raid at his drug-garage he runs away with little sample of drug and approaches his elder sister to help. Tara (Malavika Mohanan), being his sister, helps him but later finds herself webbed because of an unforeseen circumstance. She lands in jail in an attempt to save herself from a physical assault and remains mum after the traumatic incident. Aamir tries to motivate her that there is hope for her freedom but constantly fails and juggles between jail and hospital in which the molester is struggling with his life.

The cinematography by Anil Mehta is stunning. The use of silhouettes and shadow play is a treat to watch. The stellar of an opening shot is quintessential in itself. Anil Mehta’s visual have always been exotic and eye-pleasing but here they are on another level altogether. They are rustic and stunning.

A R Rahman’s music fits right in the core of the film; more instrumental than lyrics-driven songs in this serene album which exudes the emotions of the film rightly. Majid Majidi’s direction is stupendous and exemplifies his auteurship. He makes us relate and feel the character’s struggle. We are compelled to feel the pain of Tannishtha Chatterjee’s character as she struggles with her breathes even when her role was a cameo; such was the crafting of each scene. Tara’s despair and lost courage is beautifully captured in through-the-cage shots where she snaps at the thought of life imprisonment. Aamir’s catharsis scene where he throws pigeons out of his house is exceptionally acted by Ishaan and executed by the makers.

G V Sharada as the South Indian mother of two and wife of the molester is poignant and shows her class of being a veteran. Malavika Mohanan as Tara proves her talent as she shines in every emotion she shows. Ishaan Khatter portrays the youth of Mumbai which is rebel and arrogant but is also vulnerable. Never in the film has it appeared that Ishaan is a fresh face in Bollywood and he strikes right chords for expressions and dialogue delivery. His break-dance, which recurs often, shows the wide array of talents this actor has.

Majid Majidi portrays his story in a slow manner, something which might irk many, and even the story is quite predictable but still it is a tale that is watchable. The weakness in the film lies in its screenplay like a scene where the wife of molester goes to the lawyer but it follows to nothing in the film. In no scene we see the lawyer or any kind of law-proceedings.

Barring some loopholes, the film is treat for the fans of drama and poignant tales.

(The writer is freelance contributor)