Movie: Beyond The Clouds
Cast: Ishaan Khatter, Malavika Mohanan, Goutam Ghose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sharada
Director: Majid Majidi
Producer(s): Zee Studios/Namah Pictures
Rating: 4/5 Stars
The director of Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan’s Beyond The Clouds, Majid Majidi is someone that movie aficionados would call a humanist. By that, we mean a kind of storyteller who likes to show us different facets of life via the kind of stories in a kind of set up that very few would want to make a film out of. Also, knowing a little bit of Mr. Majidi’s style of filmmaking, we did go into the screening expecting a poetic touch.
And while coming out, we couldn’t stop marveling about the film as we kept asking ourselves questions like how can a story be so simple and yet so convoluted? How can a film feel so raw and yet so fine? And, for us, the most important of all, how could one not see the kind of beauty in almost everyday kind of places that Majidi has seen?
Enough with the questions, we guess. Now, let’s give you our take on it.
The film is centered on Amir and Tara (Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan respectively). While one begins to carve a life out for his own right from the age of 13, the other is a victim of an abusive marriage. Amir begins making a living out of peddling drugs, while Tara, who couldn’t be more aversive about the former’s profession, tries other ways of sustaining. But, a drug bust brings their seemingly estranged lives together, only to be pulled apart in an instant by the legal system. It is from this point where suddenly, the sibling duo, individually though, are endowed with unexpected sets of responsibilities, begin to find solace in their respective situations, and in turn, a ray of light shines on them when it’s least expected from beyond the clouds.
The backbone of this film, which belongs to the family and drama genre, is Ishaan’s Amir and Malvika’s Tara, who could be seen almost dealing with the same kind of life events, be it in a jail cell or out on the free-wheeling streets of Mumbai. So, one will say that both are equally important and crucial to this story. Ishaan as Amir, as one might point out in certain scenes, is quite the opposite of Varun Dhawan as Dan from October, but, if we talk about the larger picture, Amir is as freewheeling and happy-go-lucky as the city of Mumbai itself. He is a guy who lives by his wits alone and finds solace in the past, to whom we think Ishaan brings the kind of flamboyancy that we think runs in the family. After all, we have already seen his elder brother charm us in a similar way. Malvika’s Tara is, as one would see, a really emotionally draining part to play. You need to invoke the anguish and the exasperation from within yourself to play her and simultaneously make sure that it doesn’t really go too far and at the same time show some level-headedness. Being somewhat of a prime motivation behind the story unfolding in the way it does here, she gets a very important role, which we couldn’t imagine anyone else playing. Thank you Malvika for that brilliant performance!
Special mention also goes to Tannishtha Chatterjee, Goutam Ghose and Sharada for staying true to their characters and turning them into memorable ones for us with their respective contributions to this great story.
Speaking of the direction, the locations here are equally integral to this film as its characters. In fact, the locations ARE characters as well. This film can possibly serve as a master class for an aspiring filmmaker in a lot of ways. One of the lessons that one might take home is that you could do a whole lot more with simple spaces than you can possibly imagine.