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Color of Paradise

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Color of Paradise

Starring: Mohsen Ramezani, Hossein Mahjoub
Director: Majid Majidi
Rated: PG
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: March 2001
Genres: Drama, Foreign

*Also starring: Salime Feizi, Elham Sharifi, Farahnaz Safari

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

In a mountain meadow bursting with colorful wildflowers, Mohammad (Mohsen Ramezani), a 5-year-old blind boy, has come to find his granny (Salime Feizi). His two, bubbly sisters (Elham Sharifi and Farahnaz Safari) form his advance party. Dressed in colorful, native Iranian costumes that rival the flowers, they find his granny and lead her to the tree behind which he is hiding.

Mohammad is the central character of THE COLOR OF PARADISE by writer/director Majid Majidi (THE CHILDREN OF HEAVEN). A simple and sometimes poignant tale, the story is completely overwhelmed by the picture's lush visuals. Much like Martin Scorsese's KUNDUN, the film's enjoyment stems mainly from its look. The story is so minimal that it is barely present.

The narrative involves a poor father (Hossein Mahjoub) who feels unable to cope with his bright, brave blind boy, so he takes the boy to his paternal grandmother to live. The boy's sisters already live with her.

The movie consists of small vignettes. A typical one concerns a baby bird, which Mohammad hears crying in the grass. Digging slowly, he locates the bird under some leaves. Using his acute sense of hearing, he climbs a tree until he discovers the mother bird wailing away in her nest. After uniting mother and son, Mohammad slowly retreats to the relative safety of the ground.

Most scenes celebrate the joys of the Iranian countryside, where the film is set. Clouds float by, woodpeckers peck and rain pours. The problem with all of this pastoral beauty is that, with the absence of much dialog, the picture is frequently sleep inducing.

The gripping ending makes the film much more intense than its PG rating would imply. Nevertheless, it is the best part of the movie.

THE COLOR OF PARADISE runs 1:30. The film is in Persian with English subtitles. It is rated PG for thematic elements and would be fine for kids around 11 and up.

Copyright 2000 Steve Rhodes

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