Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Color of Paradise - The most beautiful film ever?

And there was no Julia Robert or Angelina Jolie starring in this movie!
Inarguably, The Colour of Paradise is the most beautiful film I had ever seen. I would even rate it as the best movie ever, in any language.

And it was not made by Hollywood.

Last December, Kelantan organized a Mini Fest Kelantan 2007 at Dewan Besar Balai Islam, Lundang. Of course I didn't know anything about this - with me being me, having KL as the center of my universe, until I read Kickdefella blog. The banner and the story mentioned the name Majid Majidi, and I knew I had missed an opportunity to meet this great master film maker.

Years ago, circa 2000 or thereabout, I came across this beautiful film that got me hooked on all films Iranian. I am not sure how I came to know this film, but I bought a DVD and watched it with my kids, and I must admit the film moved me to tears.

And it is not about the senseless and over-hyped boy-girl love story.

Neither this is your typical run-of-the-mill movie.

"The Color of Paradise" is a fable of a child's innocence and a complex look at faith and humanity. Visually magnificent and wrenchingly moving, the film tells the story of a boy whose inability to see the world only enhances his ability to feel its powerful forces. [The color of Paradise homepage]

To me, the film is cinematically stunning and beautiful. The cinematic is an art work; the way Picasso and Da Vinci move us with their arts. The landscape is spectacular to say the least. One need not know Persian; in fact one needs not follow the storyline to be absorbed into the film.

Just watch the following trailer. (Click here if you can't access it)

Don't you agree? This trailer alone should be enough to make you feel the spirit of the movie.

Having said that, if one were to follow the storyline - it should be easy with the english subtitles, one would feel for the blind boy named Mohammad - his joy, his agony, his concerns and his fear.

I am sure we had shed tears watching this movie. Searching, I came across this.

You can feel it for him; the tears were real. So was mine, seven years after watching it for the first time.

Mind you, there was no stunningly beautiful actresses strutting their stuff here in the movie (Hollywood or Iranian) and there was no need for that at all. Except for a couple of scenes, they were hardly any other character in the movie except Mohammad, his dad, his grandma and sister.

For someone with a very short attention span, I had watched this a couple of times and is the perhaps the last film I managed to watch it completely.

Eight years after it was released, I am still waxing lyrical about it.

That's Iranian movie for you, and they are so many light years ahead of us.

Will I live the day when our film makers can make such great masterpiece (instead of junks)?


What about another equally beautiful Majid Majidi movie, The Children of Heaven?
Eight-year-old Ali and his younger sister Zahra are accustomed to taking care of the many daily responsibilities in their family. When Ali loses his sister's newly repaired pink shoes, its disasterous because she has no other pair. Ali begs Zahra to keep quiet until he can recover them. When the shoes eventually turn up, they are on the feet of another little girl who probably needs them just as much as Zahra. Finally, Ali rests his hopes on a citywide footrace for third and fourth-graders where the third prize is a pair of shoes.
You would be rooting for him to win third place (and not win the race) so that he would win a pair of shoes. Simple story and yet it was so absorbing.

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Saturday January 5, 2008 - 12:34pm (SGT) Edit Delete Permanent Link


there was a time kalo x silap kt tv2 atau astro ade tayang byk cite2 from iran...and sy ingat2 lupe pasal ni..but i still remember every week, we(mak and me) waited this iranian muvi.. and of couse,kitorg pon byk nangis..but yg bestul2 best hanye ade dua tiga je...yg lain tu mcm x syok sgt..then pastu kiteorg stop..
Saturday January 5, 2008 - 03:18pm (SGT)

I barely remember that on the telly. But I guess you are right. Well, once you have seen the top end of the Iranian movies, anything else would be up to the standard set by Majid Majidi and hence your perception that the rest weren't that good.But I believe on average they were better than the best of our movies.
Saturday January 5, 2008 - 05:58pm (SGT)

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