ಹೇಮಶ್ರೀ ಅವರು ಬರೆದ ಮಜಿದ್ ಮಜಿದಿಯ “ಸಾಂಗ್ ಆಫ್ ಸ್ಪ್ಯಾರೋ” ಚಿತ್ರದ ಅನಿಸಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಆಗಾಗ್ಗೆ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್ ಲೇಖನಗಳು ಬರುತ್ತಿರುವುದರಿಂದ ಅದನ್ನು ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕವಾಗಿ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಗೆ ಹಾಕುವುದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಇಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಸದ್ಯವೇ ಈ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಅನ್ನು ಎರಡೂ ಭಾಷೆಗೂ ಬಳಸಲಾಗುವುದು.

From time and again it is proved so precisely that any movie which is humane in nature moves one’s heart and soul. One such movie is here again to stir the hearts and souls.

We caught up with The Song of Sparrows(Avaze gonjeshk-ha) on the last day last show at Camera 12 theatre.

Majid Majidi is best known for his vivid sense of visualization, lyrical narration and humane characterization. His story telling offers diverse dimensions of everyday lives with a pinch of compassion.
He does it again in his new movie, The Song of Sparrows, which portrays a poor lower class family, their hard times to keep the ends meet.

Karim works at an ostrich farm in a sub urban village near Tehran. He has a family of four to feed, a wife and three children. Other than that Karim has to fight hard to keep up with his low income falling short every month.
His daughter needs a new hearing aid; his son wishes to buy goldfishes, sell them and become millionaire are the new additions.
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Distress befalls him when an ostrich runs loose from the ranch in to the mountains costing Karim his job. Karim starts a desperate search up in the hills and grass lands for the lost ostrich donning himself with ostrich feathers and a wooden rod. His efforts go in vain.

While in Tehran, Karim is mistaken for a taxi driver and this becomes his new means for income. He starts ferrying people, encountering generous and treacherous ones at the same time. The city hours give him a chance to learn new habits and self-centered thinking.

The openness of country sides and the dense crowded city streets are in contrast. With each day passing by Karim becomes more and more aware of the tricky charisma of city living and slowly looses his simplicity.

In a desire to accumulate and a conscious effort to upgrade his lifestyle, Karim starts fetching junk stuffs on his ride back home. Each day he brings things which get piled up in his backyard; a TV antenna, a window frame, a door, and what not.

Now the conflict is between his honesty and his newly acquired greediness. Karim turns into a self centered person who once was amicable with people and neighborhood. He refuses to accommodate and share.
Karim has lost so much from his new found money and materialism that he refuses to be the man he was, simple and honest person.

In parallel to Karim’s behaviour, his son Hussein with his troop of friends has a wish to buy goldfishes, sell them and become millionaires. They literally work hard towards it; Cleaning up the silt filled water tank, refilling with fresh waters. Sparrows come and nest. The small little place turns out to a cool retreat.

Once, while climbing around the junk pile, Karim falls and gets his leg fractured. He is bound to be at home, confining himself to the front yards. It is then that he realizes how dependent he is of his family and their love and care. He also misses being a caring father, a loving husband and most of all an honest man.

The imagery used to portray Karim’s changing behaviour, his struggle to stay honest, the contrast between the city and countrysides are excellent.
Some of the scenes – Karim falls off from his own junk piled up backyard, making him to learn from his own (mis)deeds ; Karim is not sure whether to offer a huge note to a poor girl, however we are not shown whether he does give it or not ; Karim getting back the Blue door from his neighbour not willing to donate ; a refrigerator he would have wished to keep for himself but returns ; a TV antenna which makes him proud amongst other neighbours, are beautifully crafted.

Majidi knows the magic of vision. His visuals are painted canvases. He is a master when it comes to colour and craft. Arid and mono toned landscapes used as backgrounds offer the characters to colour up the screen.

Spectacular aerial shots are Majidi’s forte. The Song of the Sparrows has some of the best and enthralling shots.

There are a number of visual high points : Karim in disguise of an ostrich goes up in to the hills to find the lost ostrich. A helicopter used 360 degree shots in this scene are breathtaking.

Blue door against the muddy brown field becomes a powerful imagery of Karim’s hard work and distress to feed the family.

Some shots are so simple yet convey a strong point, such as in one shot the soft foot prints of children on the hard dry silt are shown to communicate that the work is already done and they are serious into bringing goldfishes into the water tank.

The emotional high point comes when the goldfishes spill from the burst plastic tub and the children have to forgo them in order to save the fishes from dying. They push them into the water stream much against their wishes. Karim sings – ” the world is a lie; the world is a dream ” to comfort the children and more to himself.
At the end there is a stunning dance of an ostrich.

I wonder how beautifully a simple story turns out to be a poignant , sometimes hilarious and profoundly humane narrative in structure and style.

It would be a cliche if I say that the actors live the characters they play. But yes they do. Reza Nazi, as the protagonist Karim, Maryam Akbari, as Narges and a host of wonderful child actors support the film generously.

Noted for his poetic Neo-realism style, Majidi represents a rare group of filmmakers who exploit life and lives in its utmost glory. and ” The Song of Sparrows ” proves that.