Beyond The Clouds

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV/online (?)

quick review:

Beyond the Clouds is as harsh as it is kind and in that sense it follows life. If only the Iranian director had avoided drama especially through some of the performances and the background score. These took a toll on the subtlety that could have been.

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Director: Majid Majidi
Running time: 120 minutes
Genres: Noir, Relationships
More Movie Info

There’s something about films that glorify kindness that makes you want to hug them. There’s something about films that poke at how unfair life is that make you want to cry. Beyond The Clouds does that but only in passing moments. If only, those feelings lingered longer. And an even bigger if only, if only the filmmaker didn’t take the Hindi-movie-style drama route.

The background score often co-existed to accentuate the distance between the characters and the audience.

The film touches upon selfish and selfless kindness from various aspects. It also expresses selfless large-heartedness that takes on shades of self-interest as the relationship progresses. Some of these moments are so pure and believable that it is heart-warming. And it makes you smirk at your surprise when you see the generosity.

Beyond the Clouds goes to the other extreme too. It shows you lives that you wouldn’t wish upon your enemies. It shows you lives that you know exist but you’d rather not know about. With the final scene, it even offers perspective that convinces you to look at your life with gratitude.

Yet, moments like the final scene and what they imply are few and far between. The movie starts of with this lovely single, long shot that moves with the characters and juxtaposes Mumbai’s tall buildings with her slums. It set a tone that I wish it kept.

While Beyond The Clouds doesn’t pull all stops and go completely over-the-top on us like many a Hindi film, it also doesn’t refrain from using drama to underline a point or spell out a mood. This is where it lost me as an audience because I was often jolted out from the very world the film had created for me.

At times it was the performance to blame. For instance, every time Malavika Mohanan came on screen she broke all existing mood to create a forced mood. Her plastered ‘brown’ make-up didn’t help either. The background score often co-existed to accentuate the distance between the characters and the audience. And at other times, it took on the lead role in doing so.

Ishaan Khatter, on the other hand is earnest and holds the film and your attention. Unfortunately, the effort shows. G V Sharda and the girls who play her granddaughters are, on the other hand, more natural. Their performances evoked emotion enough for you to care for them.

Scenes like the final scene and what they imply are few and far between.

If you walk in to the film expecting an Indianised version of a Majid Majidi film, you will find it a little too Indian and too little of a Majidi film. However, if you go in expecting a different take on Mumbai and its inhabitants, a different aspect of humanity that you find in the nooks and corners of any metropolitan, you might just come out enjoying it.

- meeta, a part of the audience

28 reviewers(?) - 8 yays 15 so-so 5 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Stacey Yount, Bolly Spice : ...I highly, highly recommend you see this film! It is movie brilliance in all its forms! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Tushar P. Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...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! ... full review

Thumbs up, by SUPARNA SHARMA, Deccan Chronicle : ...G.V. Sharada is absolutely excellent and I just can’t get over her. Her stillness is eerie, load-bearing, as if trying to contain a storm inside. Watch Beyond the Clouds for Ishaan, watch it for Sharada, and watch it for those flamingos and Chhotu’s little rat.... full review

Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, DNA : ...Beyond the Clouds should be watched to experience how a master storyteller like Majidi can redeem Hindi cinema from drudgery. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ... overall his confidence is amazing. He gives you the vibes of a young Kamal Hassan -- bursting with both intensity and talent and eager to showcase it to the world..... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, this is a visual representation of alloyed emotions backed by memorable performances of Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan. Watch this to realise how you can put your life to a better use. ... full review

Thumbs up, by ANISH MOHANTY, Planet Bollywood : ...'Beyond The Cloud' is a consistently engaging and a wonderfully immersive film. This is Majid Majidi's first film in Hindi and the director, along with his team, makes sure that he does complete justice to the milieu and the cultural terrain he is exploring with this film. The only drawback is the predictability of the narrative. Watch this film if you are looking for a good visual and emotionally evocative experience. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Neil Soans, Times of India : ...Majidi's subject matter might seem to be repetitive, but the famed director's take on redemption is fleshed out by strong performances to make 'Beyond the Clouds' another notable entry in his filmography.... full review

So-So, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, BEYOND THE CLOUDS is a nice, touching tale that works despite the minuses. At the box office however, its chances are bleak due to its niche appeal. ... full review

So-So, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...BTC is certainly not a masterpiece of Majid Majidi. It is just another regular story of orphan siblings and their problematic lives. Avoid the pace and plot, the film is high on emotions. ... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...Ultimately Beyond the Clouds is a mixed bag. It is likely to be a footnote in Majidi’s rich filmography. But the film is worth seeing as an intriguing experiment. I’m going with three stars. ... full review

So-So, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, FirstPost : ...Together their effort might be sincere but the effect of a lack of cohesion eschews the very emotional gravitas Beyond the Clouds works so hard to achieve.... full review

So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ... A. R. Rahman’s background score though is both meddlesome and fitful. This is an effort that labours its point stridently, even as it posits a striking outsider’s view of poverty in Mumbai.... full review

So-So, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...Despite excellent symbols and good performances in patches, Beyond The Clouds remains something we have seen and had expected. The uniqueness of the film hardly crosses the crowded bylanes. Majid Majidi’s foreign eyes see what all of them see. ... full review

So-So, by Lakshana N Palat, india today : ...Beyond The Clouds isn't a spectacular film and is quite flawed with its occasional underwhelming narrative and storytelling. Yet, there are moments that do leave you with a smile, and at some points, does actually make you think that we can always go beyond the clouds. ... full review

So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...One of the loveliest parts of the film features two young girls, an old ‘paati’, played by veteran Kannada actress GV Sharada, and the lively Khatter. They are playing a shadow game, singing a rousing A R Rahman ditty (ARR has scored the music for the film), horsing around, having fun. These are felt moments, capturing motion and emotion. They feel like a film. But they are only moments. ... full review

So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...It takes a Majidi to rise above the plot and offer audiences hope when things look south. Even here, he’s determined to make it stick. It may not be a deep, immersive, dislocating experience one usually has when introduced to unwavering spirits and personal narratives that his cinema has come to be known for. But it’s surely reminiscent of his previous work and sparkles up an appetite to revisit them. ... full review

So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Beyond the Clouds, in strictly dramatic terms, is eventually bland fare because it floats in a rather awkward zone where none of the languages on the soundtrack - Hindi, English, Tamil, a smattering of Marathi - seems real and rooted. The Hindi dialogues by Vishal Bhardwaj are steeped in standard Bollywood argot rather than in the lingo of the street.... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, News18.com : ...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. ... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Alternating between brat and boy, deception and decency, he speaks with a passion that will be heard Beyond the Clouds. ... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...In one affecting scene, Amir traces the outlines of Akshi’s family on a wall, as is to etch their collective imprint on his soul. It is in these moments of intimacy between strangers that the movie manages to actually travel beyond the clouds, to someplace more convincing. ... full review

So-So, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...‘Beyond the Clouds’ is definitely worth a watch. If nothing else, Ishaan Khatter’s character will make you want to believe in goodness and humanity. ... full review

So-So, ZEENEWS.COM : ...Overall, by the end, 'Beyond the Clouds' seems like a forced narrative that tells the tale of the unfortunate siblings who are trying to coexist within their circumstances. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Ishaan Khatter is all youthful effusiveness of youth and has the requisite screen presence, but both he and Malavika Mohanan tend to overact, most probably a result of the director’s unfamiliarity with the language. Ultimately, the film disappoints because it has been made by a master like Majidi. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...In the final moments of the film, there are extended scenes of Holi celebrations. You can feel Majidi’s delight at being able to capture all that colour and uninhibited movement. His is a cinema of ripeness, and India is a logical place for him to have made a film. Yet, had it not been Majidi making this, it’s debatable whether Beyond the Clouds, which feels like an artily rendered patchwork of stock Mumbai film moments, would have been on anyone’s radar. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...Looks like nobody cared when they made this movie. Except the talented cinematographer who makes Bombay look beautiful. And the young lad Ishaan Khattar who makes his debut tries super hard to look poor, and has flashes of talent in scenes. Especially his surprise when he discovers a yellow hand print from the little girl who spills a red colored drink. ... full review

Thumbs down, Sify Movies : ...Overall, by the end, Beyond the Clouds seems like a forced narrative that tells the tale of the unfortunate siblings who are trying to coexist within their circumstances. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Most of the performances remain laboured and maudlin. No wonder then, in his second outing, Ishan Khatter, despite the scruffy, unwashed presence, manages to stand out. Not only is he there in every frame, he is also made to display all his wares—action, drama, comedy, emotion, dance and what have you. ... full review

42 tweeters(?) - 32 yays 4 so-so 6 nays

vardaanT: Beyond The Clouds is manifestation of humble yet mesmerizing movie making. Congrats #MajidMajidi @imIshaanKhatter… https://t.co/C1ap5hbo7R

UniyalMahi: Beyond The Clouds Movie Re: Ishan Khatter’s Debut is A Masterpiece https://t.co/PTFhZSlAd3

Thirukay_S: Beyond the clouds. ♥️

TheVivaanShah: Just saw Beyond the clouds. Words cannot describe what a beautiful film it is. It's an absolute masterpiece with a… https://t.co/8ow1P9tD0c

TechyTee: #BeyondTheClouds is one helluva movie with a touching story. Ishan Khattar has given a temendous performance for a… https://t.co/Y8dG1sGOPP

subhendujee: Awesome debut by Ishaan Khattar in Majid Majidi's Beyond The Clouds. My review: https://t.co/pMjouyPKu5

stakhil: #BeyondTheClouds - A complete visual treat #MajidMajidi #IshaanKhatter https://t.co/h5bKRkf5ug

sanjaydesai93: Majid Majidi's 'Beyond the Clouds' is sensitive tale about human relationships. Ishaan truly shines as Amir. Anil M… https://t.co/bNX4bzOPS5

SameirAli: Beyond the Clouds (2017) Luckiest, happiest moment in my life. #DIFF #DIFF17 https://t.co/fYkbMRafaE

RjDhrumil: Review : Beyond The Clouds - What an outstanding film. Majid Majidi shows india unlike typical west directors. The… https://t.co/UQpZ0lRGHu

priyamvada_m_: Beyond the Clouds is a beautifully made movie <3 loved it :)

priyamishra2702: Movie Review: Beyond The Clouds- 3.5/5 https://t.co/QgslKfgHMD https://t.co/ey75hVQOxA

prakashgowda: Beyond the clouds is beyond words. It takes a filmmaker like Majid Majidi to remind us that films are about telling… https://t.co/leA8irs0CD

pgogna: Beyond the clouds...WoW.... outstanding work by Ishaan & Malavika best direction by Majid Majidi ⭐⭐⭐⭐ https://t.co/W4MlRO0p2w

naitikkalara: Beyond The Clouds director Majid Majidi: A R Rahman’s put India on world map through his brilliant music https://t.co/oTeEfxvPmm

nabilahudatahar: Watched Nanak Shah Fakir and Beyond The Clouds. BYT is highly recommended! India was shot and understood beautifull… https://t.co/sQlZwbFM1b

mukeshpandeyji: Beyond The Clouds Movie Review: शाहिद के भाई ईशान खट्टर ने डेब्यू फिल्म में किया धमाका https://t.co/SdmtrYSsVH

livetodayonline: #MovieReview : मास्‍टरपीस है ‘बेयॉन्ड द क्लाउड्स’, ये नहीं देखा तो कुछ नहीं देखा https://t.co/Sv8YN2GPQ3 …… https://t.co/9b8tvYSHI7

kyakarnatumko: Saw Beyond the clouds- majid majidi yesterday. What a beautiful film. Sheer brilliance. What class ! So simple stor… https://t.co/2f1bYMMZQI

KiranKotrial: When a film is gripping, intense, heartwarming, brilliantly shot and stays with you long after it’s over, it’s call… https://t.co/Jcd6du0UK4

kanwardhilon: BEYOND THE CLOUDS,this movie is beyond the cinematic excellence to even review it. What a well made film i have see… https://t.co/FTQdP44DNB

JhumariNigam: ‘Beyond the clouds’ is the kinda movie that makes me smile long after it’s over! Beautiful is an understatement.

IamDpika: #IshaanKhatter is such a delight to watch in #BeyondTheClouds . It's a beautiful tale of unique bonds… https://t.co/vAjicbacFh

humanprojector: Loved Beyond the clouds, much more than I expected. Shun the lousy reviews and go for the film. A paean to the huma… https://t.co/TPot5fX2E1

hirak98364: Must watch this week... Experience Majid Majidi...

earth24network: "Beyond the clouds" is the best film: https://t.co/iDS3gD7TV0 via @YouTube

DivyaP919: Beyond the clouds!! A heartfelt movie

dibakaranima: Majid Majidi again came with a bang ! ' beyond the clouds'.

darpansah: Beyond the Clouds : दुःख के उजले रंगों से बनी फ़िल्म जिसे देखा नहीं पढ़ा जाए https://t.co/4dRRgpYD1U

chummiyan: "Beyond the clouds" was an intense movie, it takes it's own time to sink in. There are little messages in the littl… https://t.co/WsD0Fbcmdd

ashtomcherry: Just watched Beyond the Clouds... Even if it's an art film, the story goes in such a way that we are glued to the s… https://t.co/BasN8wBO9D

arches_in: Beyond the Clouds review – edgy tale of Mumbai’s underclass https://t.co/15FaVvO4EN https://t.co/sSGyYlxEMB

musasyihab: Overall, Beyond The Clouds is a touching movie that could be better if it's not wrapped too much with unnecessary s… https://t.co/I7mh9ZQdRe

MarathiDivya: Movie Review: पटकथेत फारसा नाही दम पण इशान खट्टरचा अभिनय करतो बोलती बंद - https://t.co/tHxsUnUkLH https://t.co/GLrDKtOVLf

atranginari: BEYOND THE CLOUDS A movie of mixed feelings. Learned to be happy from tiny little things. Loving my life even more.… https://t.co/9WM4IxdPuL

Amartya_B: 'Beyond the clouds'- A decent film deprived of greatness While Majid Majidi's first Indian film deserves to be see… https://t.co/C02nULkVSA

vikrambagri: What a bore! I rated Beyond the Clouds (2017) 5/10 #IMDb https://t.co/nZ3RqJB71x

thewire_in: 'Beyond the Clouds' fails to go beyond other Mumbai-based films https://t.co/zCkX0cGR2t https://t.co/CBarOJJ1el

Jhajhajha: Beyond the Clouds...oh oh nooo...Majid Majidi's take on Mumbai ki life is predictable, touristy..and disappointing with a capital D.

ChinmayNakhwa: #BeyondTheClouds what lies beyond these clouds, an interesting story or some sort of disappointment

bhanu_babbal: Worst hindi dialogues of the year should officially go to beyond the clouds. No emotion. No feel. So bland and info… https://t.co/2rtJqZohOy

beingexplorer: Beyond the Clouds: Majid Majidi's film remains trapped in woolly-headedness https://t.co/lLQXysKDUN

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Gun shots, drug dealing
  • Language: One abusive word
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of scenes in a brothel, human trafficking is alluded to
  • Concept: At the core, it is a film about a boy trying to get his sister out of jail
  • General Look and Feel: Dusty, mucky, Mumbai.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Direction:
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Beyond The Clouds - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
120 minutes
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