Thursday, October 02, 2008


RATINGS: *****

Most of the movies that we watch are out of our mind as soon as we read the closing credits. There are however a few movies about whom we keep on thinking for hours, days or sometimes months. "Children of Heaven" is one of these rare movies. Ali and Zehra are siblings living in a poor Iranian family. Ali goes to repair Zehra's shoes but lose them on the way. Now if their parents will come to know about it they will thrash Ali and also they are too poor to buy new pair of shoes for their daughter. To get out of this situation they have a long discussion and hold your breath by writing messages on a note book right under the nose of their parents.

Zehra has a morning school while Ali has an afternoon school. It is decided Zehra will wear Ali's shoes to school and will return them to him during afternoon at a common place. This is when the trouble begins. No matter how fast Zehra run back from school she is never in time to give the shoes to his brother. Ali gets late to school everyday and his principal even tells him to go back home once. He is a good student so he is saved by one of the teachers.

There is a scene in which one shoe fall off Zehra's feet as they are too big for her (remember its her elder brother's shoes) and they fall in a gutter. The water current makes the shoe drift away. The desperation with which she runs after the shoe makes will make your whole body shiver.

The brother-sister relationship is shown very beautifully in this movie. Even though they go through such suffering, they are always there to support each other's cause every moment.

Each and every scene of the movie is full of simplicity. I cant seem to think of any other movie which can match the simplicity of this movie. Ali and Zehra are ideal children which every parent would love to have.

The kids find out who is having the possession of Zehra's shoes and they go out to investigate. They see that the girl who is now wearing those shoes is a poor child with a blind father. They dont take any action against her and continue with their adventures with just a pair of shoes between them.

Later in Ali's school an inter school long distance running competition is announced. Ali takes no interest in it. After a few days on the notice board he sees that the boy to come third in the race will win a pair of new sneakers. His eyes light up and he requests his sports teacher to allow him to participate in the race. Since the boys for race are already shorlisted, his teacher doesnt listen to him. Ali knows that this is an opportunity he cannot miss. He pleads and weeps in front of him and melts the teacher who cosiders giving him a trial.

During his trial run Ali runs with all his strength and impresses his teacher so that he is allowed to represent his school in the race.

Ali tells this good news to his sister and promises her that he will definitely come third in the race and will win the shoes for her.

Now begins a competition in which probably for the first time one individual is running not to come first but to come third. While running this boy remembers the pain of his little sister who came running for him everyday so that he can wear the shoes and be on time for school.

The result of the race should not be told by me or else it will be against the spirit for those who havent watched this movie yet.

The ending of the movie could not be understood by many dumb people. So if you dont understand it, take an appointment in a mental hospital :)

I saw the English dubbed version of the movie which was done by un-emotional dubbing artistes. A more professional dubbing was expected for such a great movie.

I have heard that Darsheel Safari is going to play the role of Ali in the Indian version of this movie. Only time will tell whether he will repeat the splendid performance of "Taare Zameen Par."

This movie is much much better than the so called children's movies churned out by Hollywood based on expensive animations and senseless plots. It just shows that to make a good film, you dont need a big budget, just a big heart!