Utpal Borpujari

April 19, 2010

DVD review: The Song of Sparrows

By Utpal Borpujari

One of Iran’s biggest directors, Majid Majidi has given the world several masterpieces. This is not in the rarefied league of either Children of Heaven or Baran, but still is a film worth several viewings. Majidi’s humanistic approach towards cinema and his mastery in handling child actors – both are in eminent display in this film too.

The film is the story of Karim, who works at an ostrich farm outside Tehran. His life with his small family goes on peacefully till one day one of an ostrich runs away from the farm. Karim gets fired from his job for this, even as he has to go to the city to get his daughter’s hearing aid repaired.

The story takes a interesting turn when suddenly he is mistaken as a motorcycle taxi driver, initiating him to a new profession and also new, selfish viewpoints. Will he ever get back his values, is what forms the finale in this film.  The film won Majidi the best director award at 2009 Berlin Film Festival and was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar too

The Song of Sparrows (Avaze gonjeshk-ha); dir: Majid Majidi; 96 Mins; Rs 349; Shemaroo World Cinema/UTV World Movies



(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 18-04-2010)



April 5, 2010

DVD Review: All Dogs Go to Heaven

By Utpal Borpujari

Don Bluth, a leading light of the animation world best known for his revolt against Disney Studios in the late 1980s, offers a mixed fare in the tale of a dog who returns from the gates of heaven to take revenge on his business partner who had bumped him off.

Voiced by Burt Reynolds, protagonist Charlie Barkin, a German Shepherd, is a criminal in New Orleans of the late 1930. In his revenge mission, he is aided by a little girl – the most endearing part of the movie populated by not-so-lovable dogs – who escapes from the clutches of Carface, Charlie’s former partner.

Rich in its colour palette, this film gives viewers a taste of animation from the UK. Fast paced and laced with a number of songs, it, though, could have better in execution.

All Dogs Go to Heaven; dir: Don Bluth; 81 mins; Rs 299; Shemaroo World Cinema/UTV World Movies

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 04-04-2010)

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