Majid Majidi has always had a knack of going beyond the obvious and deep diving into the consciousnesses of the human mind. With Beyond The Clouds, starring debutante Ishaan Khatter (Shahid Kapoor's brother), and Malayalam actress, Malavika Mohanan, he touches upon topics like hope, dreams, second chances and that lust for life, with which all of us are born. It is a gift the filmmaker has and uses to his full potential.
What’s it about :
Debutant Ishaan Khatter plays Aamir, a street boy who makes a living off peddling drugs, until one day his sister Tara (Malavika Mohanan) lands up in jail defending herself against a man named Akshi, who tries to rape her. The circumstances are such that the man (Gautam Ghose) lands up in the hospital, unable to be a witness or a give a statement that can bail Tara out. Aamir is now caught in a web of unfortunate events that spiral out of control. Akshi’s family, that includes his mother and his two daughters, become refugees at Aamir’s house and he sort of gets attached to them, not realising they are the same people who are related to the man who has put his sister behind bars. The film has its own sweet pace and much of the storyline oscillates between what’s happening in the outside world with Aamir, and the confinement that Tara faces in the jail. Beyond The Clouds is the story of love and longing even in the darkest times and Majidi weaves a beautiful tale that shines with the effervescence of the human spirit.
Clearly the focus is on Ishaan Khatter, who makes his debut with Beyond The Clouds. Being a brother to Shahid Kapoor only makes things tricky, given the barrage of comparisons and parallels that will be drawn. But Ishaan manages to charm without having to walk in the shadow of his superstar elder sibling. There is a raw appeal to his natural acting ability and that has a certain beauty to it. The scene towards the climax, where he breaks down or those moments of him break dancing to a Prabhu Deva song, showcase his untapped potential. Also being launched by Majidi is a bonus, since you get to really be mentored by a filmmaker who knows his craft so well. Ishaan’s performance in Beyond The Clouds is a definite highlight and a even though his next film, Dhadak, is a more commercial mainstream attempt, his collaboration with Majidi will always stay special. Malavika, too, is a find, and with the right roles and directors, she can hone her talent and find an audience waiting with open arms to embrace her. Beyond the Clouds is a technically superior film with AR Rahman’s musical touch. Every frame captures the bylines of Mumbai with utmost sincerity.
The pace does slacken towards the second half, especially after an abrupt intermission. This could have been a film without a break just so that we stayed with Aamir and Tara with more involvement. Also the climax felt like it came out of nowhere. Don’t go expecting a traditional end to a film that breaks norms. We wish Majidi gave a bit more depth to the supporting characters and took us deeper into their lives - like Aamir’s friends or Akshi’s family members.
What to do
Beyond the Clouds is a must watch for Ishaan Khatter’s debut act and Majidi’s unique take on the human spirit. It has some beautiful moments that will catch you by surprise. Don’t miss this one!
3.5 out of 5
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