100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compassionate Paradise of Color and Sound
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...
Published on January 6, 2001 by Christopher J. Jarmick
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cannot justify harming an animal for the sake of a film..
Upon viewing the final scene several times, it appears the crew sacrificed a horse, sending it to its death, for the sake of the film.
If someone can prove me wrong, I'd be ever so grateful. To me, a film loses all of its beauty and merit, if animals are harmed or killed during production. I really hope that's not the case here, but for now am...
Published 1 month ago by SuzFromMN
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100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compassionate Paradise of Color and Sound,
This review is from: The Color of Paradise (DVD)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.
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....
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Cinema!,
This review is from: The Color of Paradise (DVD)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.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift of sight,
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What color is God?,
This review is from: The Color of Paradise (DVD)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...
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTEOUS!!!,
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.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching film recommended for the entire family,
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This review is from: The Color of Paradise (DVD)Majid Majidi's The Color of Paradise is a heart-felt film that explores love and the withholding of love. The story centers around a father's (Hashem) anger with God for giving him a son (Mohammad) who is blind, and hence flawed and perceived as a burden. Hashem does everything he can to "lose" his son, from pleading with the school to take him regardless of the summer break, to pawning him off as an apprentice to a blind carpenter.
Although Mohammad is not "whole" in Hashem's eyes, as is the mirror he drops and cracks while shaving in a scene, he is still his son and capable of providing him unconditional love and is therefore of some "use," as is the mirror now cracked--it's imperfect, but still capable of serving a purpose. But as with the mirror, Hashem rejects Mohammad, which ultimatley leads to even greater loss.
The message is simple: Appreciate what God gives you, if necessary adjusting your values to accommodate that gift. For it is never His gift that is flawed, but rather our perception of such.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good I was shocked...,
This review is from: The Color of Paradise (DVD)I went to the theatre dragged by my mother expecting a cheesy chaotic Arab Film with bright colors and a dizzying pace. Instead I saw the most spectacular, moving movie I have seen in a long time. A movie so good it left me paralyzed. I sat staring at the screen in awe until all the credits had surpassed ,and as I turned to my mother, in awe, gently snapping out of it, I saw that she too still had her eyes glued to the screen. And then as I looked around still, I saw that everybody else in the theatre was in awe as well. The best movie of the year without a doubt. Hollywood has a lot to learn. America is being left behind in the art of storytelling on screen and Iran was not a country I thought had too surpassed us. But it has, with this director and it's gentle simple riveting style. Best movie of the year. Best movie that you haven't seen.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Idyllic, heartrending film that says a lot with few words.,
The Color of Paradise met all the requirements of a movie which is a work of art. It showed the beauty of a country that few Americans are even interested in knowing about or visiting even though the Iranian government is encouraging tourism. This movie is about the ones who really matter, the common people, living like so many world-wide going about daily seeking beauty in life & eventually dying. A culture is presented here in brush strokes of simplicity and profoundity. It shows how people all over the world are so alike especially in non-western cultures. My mom watched this film with me and even though she didn't keep up with the subtitles she loved this movie because it had such a nostalgic feel to it & she loved the sheer beauty of the Iranian landscape. Oddly enough Muhammad & his family's world was very much like the world she grew up in years ago in the southern US in the African-American community. The fields, chickens in the yard, children doing chores, playing, smiling, going to school, the love of nature, faith in a supreme being, the means of courtship, the importance of family and the community were very much the same during my mom's childhood as they are presented in the film.
The Color of Paradise was nostalgic for me too. It really brought back memories of my stay in southern Africa. The pace of the culture and the values are very much the same where I lived as in the film. Little things were so similar like when Muhammad's sister was sweeping the ground outside the entrance of the house that she & her dad had finished white washing. I often saw women sweeping the yard outside your homes during the day when I was living in Africa with the same sort of brooms. In my mom's day her mom did the same chore everyday with what they called a brushroom. Seeing so many children on film with smiling faces also brought back thoughts of Africa. It pains me that so few American children these days know how to smile or desire to play outside like Muhammad and his sisters.
I really hoped that the film wouldn't have a tragic ending, but so many foreign films and novels do, but that is true to life unlike the happy endings that Hollywood tends to tack on to films. The Color of Paradise is not only a work of art, but a morality tale. It shows how so often people only realize how much others mean to them when it's too late. Muhammad's father was spoiled & unappreciative of his mother until it was too late. He never took the time to see the worth and genius of his son. Ironically, Muhammad was more appreciated at his sister's school where he was only a guest for a day than by his dad. As the old people used to say, "You don't miss your water until your well runs dry." On the beach, with Muhammad's body in his arms, his father certainly did.
The American public needs exposure to such films as the Color of Paradise. Right now America is into sex, violence, shallowness and ugliness in nearly every aspect of our culture. Perhaps if more public theaters stopped worrying so much about money and became courageous enough to show such meaningful films more Americans would see that there are cultures that still value the things that we once did when there was still balance, sensibility, & sanity in our society.
I think the film was aptly named. It is believed that the Garden of Eden was in modern day Iran or Iraq. The scenery in The Color of Paradise makes me believe this is so.
I was mesmerized by this film, and I wept outwardly and inwardly not only at the end but during several of the scenes of the Iranian countryside. The Color of Paradise said so much with few words.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life altering.,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Color of Paradise (DVD)I wish everyone in America could see this movie to understand the beauty that exists outside our borders in lands we have never thought twice, or even once, about. Truth is, we have so much to learn from the sensibilities of these far older peoples and from their history. The Color of Paradise opens that door for us to walk through the rest of our lives, and for that reason it is priceless. This movie shattered me, just as I knew it would. And it did it in a way that only art can, by exploring our most anciently held beliefs about love, honor, beauty, family, and God and ultimately changing how we feel about all of it, for the better. And it did as lightly and effortlessly as a feather falling to the ground. I will never forget this film, or want to, for the better person it has made me. Little Mohammed, you will always be with me. And may we all strive during the course of our lives to reflect the love you so naturally give us!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful,
This review is from: The Color of Paradise (DVD)This is in the top ten of best movies I have ever seen. It is not only beautiful in a visual sense but the soul of this movie is also truly beautiful.
This movie touched my heart deeply. It is a story of a young blind boy, Mohammad, who is so sensitive that he experiences more of life than most sighted people ever do. His widowed father loves him yet views Mohammad as a burden and as a hinderance to his marriage prospects. A loving grandmother is Mohammad's teacher and advocate, she intuitively understands and protects her grandson but is undermined by her self-centered son. Her grief is so real it will bring you to tears.
This movie crosses all cultural and religious boundaries in a celebration of the human spirit. There could not be a better time to see this movie than right now.
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The Color of Paradise by Majid Majidi (DVD - 2000)
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