A large majority of the best movies from around the world have come out of regions or plots which was facing seviour struggles or pains. Just like the saying that good literature happens only when the writer has gone through serious pain, I think it is true with cinema too. India is a struggle ridden land. There are problems through out the country, except for a minority region like Kerala. Inspite of a vast majority of people, between 70 - 80% actually, living under constant struggles of livelihood, a huge majority of Indian movies are about the lives of the rich or the middle class. It is quite a topic that why it is so in India. It is seldom that our movie makers think about and make movies about those people who are always at the receiving end or who has to suffer.
Somewhere in remote Colombia, villagers are locked in the war between the guerrillas and the Government forces. Families have started fleeing the village for life. Manuel, a young boy is crazy about football. He is also passionate about painting. His father presents him a new football and his friend has kicked the ball to a field which has mines. Manuel is desperate to get his ball back.
It is impossible to believe that this movie is made by a debutant director. It is such a brilliant movie.
A good length of the movie is told from the eyes of the child and we can even take it for a movie concentrating on children. However, towards the end, it is almost like a thriller. I felt like I was on the edge of the seat wishing for peace with Manuel, his family, his friends and his teacher. I think that says my thoughts on this beautiful movie.
A superbly brilliant performance by the child actor who played Manuel. He will make us fall in love with him. In fact the script is so good that the moments with the children seems to be penned by some adult with a child's mind. Wonderful it was. Except for a couple of hiccups here and there, which are actually small details which the director could have taken care of, this is brilliantly written and executed movie.
A couple of times it did remind me of Santosh Sivan's Tahaan. But it is quite a different movie, which uses the old trick of looking at serious issues from children's point of view. But the director has managed to give quite a fresh look to it. I think the beautiful setting of the hilly Colombian country side and of course, Football, has played a big part. It is simple, serious, shocking and thought provoking.
I was pondering seriously about my thoughts, after the movie. Why is it that Indian movie makers never talking about people who suffer in our country. Why is it that only once in a blue moon we get movies like this. And once in a blue moon, when there is a movie like Parzania or Slumdog millionaire,(not Indian of course) they are accused of minority appeasement or poverty porn.