Mohammad returns home from a school for the blind, unaware that his widowed father plans to disown him in order to win the hand of a wealthy local woman. — Genre: Foreign Film - Other — Rating: PG — Release Date: 19-SEP-2000
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Meh! Not so great really. Acting is tepid from the main character. Father and grandmother are better though. Touches of overdone melodrama throughout. The cinematography is OK, but nothing spectacular. It tries too hard in places to be whimsical or touching. The story line is simple, mostly linear, and relatively predictable.
Not sure why this movie got such great reviews and ratings. I certainly can't see what they are talking about. Am rather disappointed because I was really looking forward to it, based on the really high ratings and reviews.
A Compassionate Paradise of Color and Sound
Christopher J. Jarmick | Seattle, Wa. USA | 01/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You may find it difficult to rent a quiet, deceptively simple film about a few months in the life of a blind boy-but overcome your resistance and treat yourself to one of the finest films of the year.. A gem. And one of the most beautiful looking films you'll ever see. The cinematography is simply spectacular. The story deeply moving and unforgettable. And yes you'll most likely have to read subtitles (though not that many) unless you speak Farsi.Although I'm aware the film teeters dangerously close to Spielberg-ian heartstring pulling manipulation, it's also powerful, uncompromising and a film that gets all of its details exactly right.We meet Mohammad (Mohsen Ramezani) at the school for the blind in Tehran where he resides. We see the students leading each other around, learning how to read and write in Braille, and packing up to meet their parents as the school prepares to close for three months. Mohammad's father is very late. All the other children have been picked up by their parents. The teacher remains positive that the father will arrive to pick Mohammed up. We aren't so sure.Mohammad gets up off the bench, and wanders off the path, over to a tree. He kneels down and at first it appears he is going to dig a hole in the dirt. But he continues to move the leaves around with his hands. We aren't sure what he is doing. Then he finds the tiny bird that has fallen from it's nest. We watch in amazement as he carefully picks the tiny bird up, and then proceeds to climb the tree and put the bird back into its nest. Mohammed we realize is a very special, gifted and sensitive 8 year old boy who just happens to be blind.Director Majid Majidi finds a wonderful way to let us quickly stop pitying the blind child and come to admire and perhaps understand the character. Several times throughout the film we hear noises, before we see what the source of the noise is. We get close-ups of Mohammed's hand as he feels a creek bed for some stones, or plays with some wheat and begins quietly muttering some letters from the alphabet. He reads with his fingers and memorizes his lessons anyway he can. He has never stopped trying to learn, trying to less of a burden and embarrassment to his father.Mohammad's father (Hossein Mahjub) reluctantly picks up his son at the school. We learn his wife has died and they will travel to the north where Mohammed's two young sisters and Grandmother live. Mohammed is loved and accepted as a whole person by everyone but his father. His father hopes to get married and sees his son as a weight that drags him down. He feels life had treated him unfairly by giving him a blind son to take care of and by taking his wife away from him. He is trying to win the hand of a women in the village and has been working very hard to raise the dowry and present the gifts necessary to get her hand in marriage. When asked he talks about his two daughters but does not mention his blind son. Perhaps his blind son would be seen a negative omen by his future father-in-law and so he must deny his very existence.Mohammed is full of life and has a strong connection, even a spiritual connection to everything that surrounds him. He has been told that he is a special person because God particularly loves the blind and since God is invisible and can only be felt, it will be the blind who will feel him first. Mohammed the young boy wants desperately to believe that but as he comes to realize that his father views him as a burden, he begins to doubt the truth of what he has been told.The camera lovingly braces the lush country side of the North Country of Iran. We see the beauty that Mohammed can only see and feel. We get a sense of what it must be like for him to put his overly sensitive fingers into the creek, to feel the Caspian Sea on his feet, to have a butterfly tickle his skin, to hear the birds and animals around him. To know his younger sister has gotten older by touching her face and declaring. . "My you have grown!" And while the camera takes the time to linger on certain shots it does not linger too long. The film almost always remains positive, almost always shows us the good of things.Almost.While his father is almost deathly afraid of certain sounds, Mohammed remains curious and calm with everything that is around him. He is full of life, wonder and love in contrast to being full of fear, anger and bitterness.Majidi has created a ninety minute work which is rich with visual and emotional textures that will stay with you long after the film is over. Much of the film, because of its subject matter has a sadness to it. But like Mohammed the film sees beauty and richness everywhere and reminds us there is much we take for granted-like the beauty and compassion a young blind boy easily `sees' and accepts. NOTE: The film's Farsi title actually translates to The Color of God but the film has been re-titled in English: The Color of Paradise.Chris Jarmick, Author of The Glass Cocoon with Serena F. Holder....
A gift of sight
Christian Mohr | Woodland Hills, Ca USA | 11/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw the movie "The Color of Paradise" on video the other night. Set in Iran and shown in Persian with English subtitles, it 's a film superbly written and directed by Majid Majidi, also known for his remarkable film "Children of Heaven". With excellent cinematography and great music, "The Color of Paradise" offers us a look at another side of Iran we don't usually see or have never seen before. Throughout the film, scenes of the country's rich vegetation, lush landscapes and majestic mountains almost give us a glimpse of paradise. A beautiful story supported by fine performances of the whole cast, particularly of the blind young actor in the main role, it's a refreshing second look at a country less familiar and its people. The film not only shows some of the country's customs and beliefs but also reveals what is universal to us all. Simple acts of heroism, as when the blind boy struggles to climb a tree to rescue a fallen little bird... a woman's unselfish love and sacrifice for her son and grandson... the young girls' pure joy of seeing the smile in their grandmother's eyes as their brother returns home... a blind boy's tragic sense of being abandoned...a father's sense of failure and of redemption. The film is filled with travels into the human heart, and what we discover is that which reaffirms our similarities, one common tie that binds us all. What I love most about the film is that it shows how the blind boy's heightened senses, his touch, his hearing, and his heart, took the place of his eyes as his window to the beauty and promise of life around him. In spite of his handicap, he exemplified courage, enthusiasm, and the awareness to experience life. The film brings to mind the message that Jesus told his doubting disciple Thomas: blessed are those that have not seen but yet believed. Although Jesus was talking about faith, I think we could extend the message he gave to how we view life, how we perceive its beauty, its promise in spite of adversity, in spite of broken dreams. The boy is blind but he sees life, and embraces it with fervor. The film is touching, leaving me with a feeling of yearning to be able to see as the blind boy does...."
This is Cinema!
mobby_uk | London United Kingdom | 06/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can not recommend this film enough!! It is simply a beautiful touching story, told with such dedication and love..this film is what cinema is all about.
The fact that this film comes from Iran, should be an example of how universal the art of cinema is.
Majidi is certainly one of the best directors from any nationality. After making a masterpiece in Children Of Heaven which will be released on DVD in September, he scores yet again for the enjoyment of us all with Color of Paradise, a story of Mohamed, a blind boy, and his relationship with his father, the excellent Hussain Mahjoub, with his sisters, his grandmother,and with nature.
It is a tragic story filmed without falling in the trap of sentimentality.
It is a universal story, and the little Mohamed can be any blind boy in any country in the world..this is why Majidi's films while Iranian in their setting, they touch every viewer from any culture. He also has the sensitivities to his surroundings and subject matter of great directors, such as Truffaut and De Sica.
Majidi and most Iranian directors have used amateur children in the lead role to excellent effect, and the world we see through the eyes of these children, is filmed with such care and understanding.
Iranian cinema has gained international recognition, especially in Europe, taking several awards in Cannes and Venice, and it is such a great achievement for the art of cinema itself, proving yet again that it is one form that can bring cultures together in a sophisticated platform.
The scenery in Color of Paradise is breathtaking, and will surprise many as i was, by how beautiful a country Iran is.
The cinematography as well is top class, clearly evident in the last scene, very well filmed and edited.
If you love cinema then you should add Color of Paradise to your collection, for it is a feast to your senses."
BeachReader | Delaware | 10/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of the most beautifully filmed movies I have ever seen, of an area which I had never "visited" before on film. It showed Iran in all its beauty, lovingly and emotionally.The young boy who plays the role of the blind child, Mohammed, was extraordinary. His scene near the pond with the blind carpenter was one of the best I have ever watched. The director also did some wonderful things with the boy's hands: when he read and "wrote" his Braile materials, when he learned about something by feeling it, when he searched for the tiny bird in the leaves.This movie showed the power of family love and the devastation when a child feels unloved. It also allowed the viewer to get a glimpse at the way of life in the countryside of Iran.I would highly recommend this touching film....you cannot help but be affected by it."
What color is God?
chiharry | Chicago, IL | 11/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As someone else pointed out, the correct translation should have been 'The Color of God'. I believe Mohammed saw colors to which the rest of us are truly blind.No leading men, no mud-adorned nymphs wallowing in the wild, no swelling sound track, no special effects, no pathetic plot that becomes painfully obvious after the first five minutes...The director of this movie knows how to tell a story. And tell it very well. This movie made me cry several times, which is something I almost never do. It made me love and respect a little boy so full of life that he gave a little of himself to everything he touched. I didn't hate the father, I grew to have compassion for him because he was weak and full of fear. The fear speaking in his eyes as he watched the current take his little son away, the fear saying 'please die for me, it will be so much easier if you die now...'.The grandmother spoke volumes with her eyes. When she stood watching her grandson tyring to hide from her behind a tree, you could so clearly share her love. When Mohammed touched her, feeling her face, then her hands, there was a communication that needed no words. When Mohammed started crying because he wanted to go to school with his sisters, she said 'Please don't cry. I would die for you.' I believed her.I wanted the movie to go on after the ending, but I realized that it stopped exactly where it should have.Maybe some of our directors will see this movie and learn something..."