Beyond the Clouds
Director – Majid Majidi
Starring – Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan
Rating – ***
Set in Mumbai, Beyond the Clouds is a story of two siblings, Aamir (Ishaan Khatter) and Tara (Malavika Mohanan). 19-year-old Aamir is a drug peddler who gets embroiled with the cops. In a bid to protect him, his sister Tara lands up in jail. Their situation turns for the worse and everything seems hopeless, until they finally see a ray of hope – A silver lining beyond the clouds.
The Majidi Magic
Being an Oscar-nominated director, you can’t expect anything less from Majid Majidi! And Beyond the Clouds is special in its own way. His filmmaking style has always had an innocent charm that brings about the best in the story and its characters. I couldn’t help but notice some patent ‘Majidi scenes’ in the film that will certainly bring a smile on your face. However, as straightforward as the film is, it is loaded with metaphors and you may miss out on several nuances. The story delves into the depths of relationships, enduring emotions of love, hatred, betrayal, despair and hope.
Majidi captures the stark reality of Mumbai through his lens with the contrast between the city’s rich skyline and never-ending slums. But from the narrow gullies of Mumbai’s slums to the rows of clothes hanging around dhobi ghat, it feels like this is a theme that has been previously explored and become synonymous with the city. Though the story is set around the dark underbelly of Mumbai, there’s not a single cringe-worthy scene in film.
What to look out for
There are some scenes that are wonderfully shot. For instance, when Aamir, the two small girls and patti (grandmother) are entertaining each other with their hidden talents or when Aamir puts on a show with shadows to amuse the little girl. Like most of Majidi’s films, the children in Beyond the Clouds have an innocence that has the ability to tug on the heartstrings. It’s perhaps such virtues that give his stories a realistic yet optimistic outlook towards life.
Ishan Khatter is definitely born with the acting gene! His raw and rugged portrayal of Aamir is a delight to watch on screen. He transitions from a feisty drug peddler on the streets of Mumbai to a compassionate and loving guy, effortlessly. His performance is sure to win him many global accolades.
Malavika Mohanan looked like the perfect dusky beauty for the part, but couldn’t match up to Ishaan’s charisma. While she does seem like a promising newcomer with a noteworthy spark in her acting prowess, she couldn’t ignite the screen with her presence.
Veteran actress GV Sharada stood out as the unsung hero with her humble role as Patti.
Since he narrates the tale so beautifully, there’s always a little more you’d want to see in a Majid Majidi film. His abrupt endings have left the audience wanting for more and this time too he leaves you with the same feeling.
Supriya Says: While Majid Majidi takes you on tried and tested narrative, Ishaan Khatter is the silver lining in Beyond the Clouds. Watch it for his brilliant performance.
Reviewed by Supriya Nair
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