remains of a half-torn ticket

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Children of Heaven

Plan for a pair of sneakers.
This is one liner discription of the movie. Its all about the lost shoes of a seven year old sweet girl named Zahra. Her elder brother takes them to a cobbler for repairing and loses them on his way back. Sweet little Zahra asks about her shoes Ali tells her the truth. Both the children discuss the the plan in their only room by writing a sentences each on a notebook and exchanging.

To save themselves from thrashing of their father who doesn't have enough money to get a new pair of shoes they decide on a shoe sharing formula.

Zahra attends a morning school so she will wear the shoes in the morning and Ali who goes to a afternoon school will wear in the second half of the day. This pact leads to one adventure or the other as both the children try to hide the fact that they are having one pair of sneakers from parents and teachers.

Whole movie is seen through children eyes, which are painful many times but loving also. In the movie despite poverty, hardship and no economic stability life is sweet. Movie shows two sides of Iran a rich part having gigantic buildings, houses with big lawns and fruit trees and a poor part where people are facing difficulty in making both ends meet.

Movie has three stars Ali, zahra and pair of white sneakers which both the kids share. They both meet daily at half way mark to pass on the sneakers, but that solution is creating problems. Ali is reaching school late and Zahra also dislikes the sneakers. Ali finally decides the take part in a marathon race and win the third prize. Third prize award winner will get a pair of sneakers. And let me assure you all must not have seen a contest which is so full of drama, emotions, love after Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar cycling race. Will Ali come third or will he be first or not even win al all for this you have to watch the movie.

Children of Heaven portrays a different side of Iranian life which we are not aware of. We only know of nuclear reactors etc, but this life is full of love. Sweet love between brother and sister and how small Ali is ready to do anything for her sister.

One will feel for the kids as shots of Zahra running back from her school to meet Ali and give him the sneakers. Ali runs to his school very fast so that he is not late. One is near to crying when on running back Zahra's sneakers ( Ali's big sneakers) fell into a running stream.

There were two scenes which according to me made this movie outstanding. First is after deciding on a shoe sharing pact when Zahra says shoes are dirty and they should be washed. Washing of shoes is so loving to watch. Ali smiling, and his big brown eyes portraying a sense of relievement and Zahra rubbing the shoes with surf and forming the bubbles with foam. Both formed bubbles and fought with their bubbles. This particular scene portrays the love that exists between brother and sister. Other scene which Majid Majidi captures with full intensity is when both the kids spies on a girl who is wearing same shoes as Zahra had. They reach the girl's house and there they see something which makes them to drop the idea of knocking at the door.

Its a oscar nominated movie and one should watch it for seeing those scenes which we hardly seen in nowadays movies. You will not see such a strong love between a brother and sister, you will not see children studying so beautifully in any other movie. Watch it for Majid who is a legend in Iranian Cinema.