Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Beyond The Clouds

Cast: Ishaan Khattar, Malavika Mohanan, Goutam Ghose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, GV Sharada, Amruta Santosh Thakur, Shivam Pujari

Director: Majid Majidi

Iranian master Majid Majidi, whose Oscar-nominated film, 1997’s Children of Heaven, remains one of the most affecting stories about sibling love and the innocence of children, uses the bustling landscape of Mumbai as the setting for his new film Beyond The Clouds. This is a moving redemption saga about a poor brother and sister faced with difficult circumstances, but the predictable plotting robs the film of any surprise.

Ishaan Khatter stars as Amir, a street-smart fellow who works as a drug runner, whizzing about in the Mumbai traffic making discreet deliveries, even as he nurses dreams of saving enough cash to make a better life someday. When he runs afoul of his employer, it leads to a chain of events that culminates with his sister Tara (Malavika Mohanan) being thrown into jail for nearly killing a man who tries to rape her.

Clearly fascinated by the sights and sounds and smells of Maximum City, Majidi and cinematographer Anil Mehta serve up an evocative tableau that is at once familiar yet unmistakably ‘exotic’ – a foot chase through Dhobhi Ghat, a fight scene in the flamingo-occupied mudflats along Sewri jetty, a sweet moment involving an innocent child in a Kamathipura brothel, and Holi being celebrated on the streets…all set to A R Rahman’s mostly familiar score.

Like his strongest films, Beyond The Clouds works best when Majidi puts children on the screen. Tara’s bond with a little boy whose ailing mother shares the jail cell with her is genuinely tender, and Amir’s tentative relationship with a family he is saddled with yields some of the film’s most touching moments.

The film’s overarching themes – the importance of compassion in an unforgiving world, and family being what you make of it – are noble but simplistic, and are communicated in broad strokes. All cinema is manipulative, but Beyond The Clouds is sentimental to a fault, practically choking the lump out of your throat. It doesn’t help that the story beats are entirely predictable; you know exactly what choices the characters will make, and how things will pan out in the end.

Luckily for us, the film packs consistently strong performances, especially from Ishaan Khattar whom the camera clearly loves. He reveals reserves of both confidence and vulnerability, allowing us to be invested in Amir from early on. My other favorite is veteran actress GV Sharada who plays the aged mother of a key character, and who enters Amir’s orbit representing conflict. She delivers a mostly quiet but deeply sensitive performance that breaks your heart.

Ultimately the film offers comfort in the familiar…for those that seek it. It’s Majid Majidi-lite at best; a bittersweet, inoffensive drama that runs, but never flies. I’m going with a generous three out of five.

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Rajeev Masand

  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Omerta

    Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Keval Arora, Rajesh Tailang, Blake Allan Director: Hansal Mehta In his new film Omerta, director Hansal Mehta seeks to dive into...

    BMS EditorMay 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of 102 Not Out

    Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Jimit Trivedi Director: Umesh Shukla Let’s just face it Hindi cinema doesn’t know what to do with senior...

    BMS EditorMay 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Avengers: Infinity War

    Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe...

    BMS EditorApril 26, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of October

    Cast: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, Gitanjali Rao Director: Shoojit Sircar October, directed by Shoojit Sircar, is a thoughtful, meditative film about...

    BMS EditorApril 13, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Blackmail

    Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh, Divya Dutta, Pradhuman Singh, Anjula Sathe, Gajraj Rao, Omi Vaidya, Vibha Chibbar, Neelima Azim Director: Abhinay...

    BMS EditorApril 6, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Baaghi 2

    Cast: Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Deepak Dobriyal, Prateik Babbar, Darshan Kumaar, Vipin Sharma Director: Ahmed Khan. A distraught young...

    BMS EditorApril 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review Of Pacific Rim Uprising

    Cast: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Cailee Spaeny, Burn Gorman Director: Steven S DeKnight I’m one of those who thoroughly...

    BMS EditorMarch 24, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review Of Hichki

    Cast: Rani Mukerji, Neeraj Kabi, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Harsh Mayar Director: Siddharth P Malhotra There is nothing original, nothing surprising, nothing even...

    BMS EditorMarch 24, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of The Square

    Cast: Claes Bang, Elizabeth Moss, Terry Notary, Dominic West, Christopher Læssø Director: Ruben Östlund The Square, the new film from Swedish writer-director Ruben...

    BMS EditorMarch 16, 2018

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2018 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup