Saturday, 21 November 2009
The Song Of Sparrows
"The World is a lie, The World is a dream" sings Karim, the protagonist of the Persian movie, The Song of Sparrows.
The film is so strong in its emotional and ethical content that you would want this movie to just go on and on.
A brief storyline: Karim, an honest man, lives in a village in Iran with his family and works in an Ostrich farm. He loses his job when one of the Ostriches runs away because of his mistake. Then one day he travels to Tehran to buy his eldest daughter Haniyeh's hearing aid where he is mistook for a motorbike-for-hire and thus begins his new job as a motorcycle-taxi driver. The new, mean place tests at every point his honesty, his struggle to make living, his efforts to impart honesty in his children and his patience for Hussain, his young son, who he thinks is becoming a wanderer.
The best thing about the movie is its screenplay, every frame of every scene tells a story.
Here are some of the best scenes from the movie:
Karim collects junkyard at his home of which is one blue door. When his wife Narges gives it away to a relative Karim runs to their house to get the door back. They offer tea but he donot accept, then while he struggles to get the door out of the house they offer sherbet, but he doesnot listen. An old man carries the door on his back over vast field back to his home. This shows how materialistic he has become. And when that night Narges cries over it he sings a beautiful song to console which shows that he is still a caring husband.
Karim finds his son Hussain and daughter Haniyeh selling flowers on the highway with other bunch of kids. He thinks these kids are wasting their time and chases them to stop it. He takes her daughter home and when Hussain comes back he very angrily slashes him with a whip. Narges stops and says he did so to get money to buy fishes. This makes Karim more angry as they were talking impossible because the reservoir of water is a filthy place. He takes a shovel and rushes to the reservoir to bring it down. As he approaches it he slows down to see the water beautifully green and clear. The light coming out of the window enhances the beauty of it. He cools down and sits on the ground. Then he sees all the mud and slit that was cleaned by Hussain and friends lying at a distance. And to add to the emotion the hand and leg prints of the kids are shown on the mud.
Karim has to move a refrigerator from one dealer to another but due to a problem in bike he losts his way. He brings the fridge to his home but next day tries to sell it to some genuine dealers. No one buys. One man offers him quite a good amount of money to sell it to him unofficially. But Karims decides not to and returns it to the one he gets it from.
Karim while in traffic sees a young girl which reminds him of her youngest daughter. He thinks of giving her some money but he doesnot have change. He makes an effort to drag his bike and ask change to nearby people in cars. But he get none and the traffic runs green. The point here is he asks change which itself is a small denomination of money. He wants to give her something but also thinks of his situation. Finally he moves away without giving her anything.
Karim meets and accident and has to stay at home. He sees all his family members working together and working hard everyday. Haniyeh applies ointment to his bruised legs while he asked about her hearing aid. She says it is working fine and she can hear loud and clear. He insists he will bring a new one from town but she says she can replace cells and it will work better. Just then she turns around to search the cap of the ointment tube to her right. Karim tells her that its to her left but she doesnot respond. Karim repeats but in vain, then he taps on her shoulder and says the cap is on the left. She takes the cap and leaves.
Karim is sitting while her youngest daughter is drawing on the plaster on his legs. Narges calls Hussain from outside the house while Hussain sleeps inside. Karim thinks of waking him up and when he drags himself towards him he discovers bruises on Hussain's palm. He then realises how serious is Hussain about the fishes.
Karim is waiting on the bench in the town for his friend to pick him up along with Hussian.
Hussains goes to a shop and asks for Orange Juice which costs 400 tamans. Hussain asks for 350 but the shopkeeper denies. He takes one and goes and gives it to his father. When asked why did he not bring one for himself he says he doesnot like orange juice. Karim takes a sip and gives the rest to Hussain.
All the fishes that Hussain and friends have earned accidentally spills while they try to save them from dying as the drum that held them had a hole. But now the drum has a bigger gap and all the fishes are on ground gasping for breath. As they see all their dreams and hardwork shattered they quickly decide to save the fishes from dying rather than finding another drum. They push every fish in the alongside, flowing water and let them all free. All were sad and crying as they do it. While returning home Karim consoles them all by singing a beautiful song that goes somewhat like this, "My flowers are withered, My fishes are gone.......The world is a lie, the world is a dream."
The movie ends with a beautiful ostrich dance.
This is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen. There is NO hanky-panky in the movie. It is emotional, humourous, pure and simple life.
Here a sneak-peak: