Verdict: Majid Majidi shoots for the stars and delivers.
Expectations for Majid Majidi’s Bollywood directorial debut are high. With a cast of newbies, yet well-known personalities, the award-winning director has hitched his wagon to the stars, quite literally. Beyond the Clouds is a family drama, introducing Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan in lead roles. Majidi has played to his strengths and delivered yet another stunning classic, this time in a story set in the alleys of Mumbai.
What’s Beyond The Clouds About:
It is a regular day for Aamir (Ishaan Khatter), going about making drug deliveries for his mafia boss. In one stroke, his world is shattered when the police raid their adda, and Aamir is on the run. He manages to salvage a packet from their loot and leave it with his estranged sister, Tara (Malavika Mohanan). After spending the night reconnecting with this sibling, life takes a turn for the worst the next day, when Tara is arrested for the attempted murder of her superior Akshi (Gautam Ghose), who tries to rape her. With Akshi in a semi-comatose state, Aamir has no choice but to wait for his recovery to get his sister out of jail. Meanwhile, his boss is on his toes and Akshi’s family comes to visit, changing Aamir’s life forever.
If you are acquainted with Majid Majidi’s previous works, you would find a striking similarity in his movies. They tend to center around humanism, with a special focus on a feeling of kinship among the downtrodden. Children are also an important part of his narrative, as the director has a keen interest in capturing the innocence they bring on screen. All of these attributes are visible in Beyond the Clouds, which shows a stunning portrayal of rural Mumbai. The cinematography by Anil Mehta is top-notch in this film and Mumbaikars will instantly connect with its theme. Another foreigner by the name of Danny Boyle had once made a film on the same melody but Majid Majidi comes from a place of expertise while trying to capture the third-world poverty. Add to this A R Rahman’s music and you have a beautiful film.
With regards to performances, all the actors do a decent job in their roles. Ishaan Khatter plays the central character in this film and he is certainly a star in the making. An enthusiastic spirit and a skilled dancer with great connections in the industry, he seems to have garnered the formula for success. With a little polishing of his skills, he can go far and beyond in Bollywood.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The first half of the movie seems slow and lacking progress. Since both the lead actors are new, the performances may seem to lack finesse in places. Having said that, the two have all the potential to make it big.
Why You Should Watch:
Beyond the Clouds is a bittersweet portrayal of lives that we can only witness on screen, nevertheless, they seem to resonate even with the most privileged. It is a story of desperation, hope, and happiness, unlike anything you’ve seen before. Lastly, watch it for its stunning depiction of the city you know and love.