Stormy and heavily emphasized, Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’sBeyond The Clouds‘ commences with his male protagonist’s (Ishaan Khatter) involvement with the drug business.

Soon after, we see Malavika Mohanan, Majidi’s female protagonist, who plays Ishaan’s sister, hurled in the underdogs of prostitution. If that sounded like any other foreign filmmaker who based his story on India, you must not forget that this time, it is Majidi. Majidi is known for the compassionate soul that he lends to any narrative that he decides to touch.

Even though most of the beauty might have gotten lost in translation, it is the honesty and integrity of the collaborated art that stands out. AR Rehman’s score is thirst quenching just when it seems like the emotions that the movie drives you through is overwhelming. Ishaan and Malavika, both in their own ways as estranged siblings, have things to lose and things to gain; things to hide and things to discover. Malavika as Tara who has just escaped from an abusive marriage gets caught in another adversary as she lands up in jail. She yells, she weeps and she dreams of an escape, just to find her soul through the eyes of a young child. Ishaan as Amir too, puts forward the best of ways to find an escape for his sister, as the story through its narrative finds a balancing pose amidst the disputed aesthetic.

Gautam Ghose, G. V. Sharada and Tannishtha Chatterjee leave behind an impactful performance, yet an unsubtle Mumbai melodrama, and so do the child actors.

Majidi’s narrative is powerful and equipped to intensify the faithful energy of the quiet, spartan and the soulful sundry of a melodrama. The Oscar-nominated auteur of ‘Children of Heaven’ offers hope and reconciliation, for a better world and a better kind, and all so with a smattering sign of a Bollywood swagger.


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