The Colors of the Mountains Movie Review

The Colors of the Mountains Movie Review

The Colors of the Mountains Movie Review - The Colors of the Mountains Story, Movie Review, Cast And RatingReleased on April 22nd, 2011, director Cesar Arbelaez’s debut venture ‘The Colors of the Mountain’ is a sincere attempt at film making that earned the helmer the New Director Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2010.

Portraying a war ravaged country as seen by the eyes of a 9 year old kid, the director effectively manages to dish out a simple, sweet, mildly dramatic, thought provoking and forthright movie that doesn’t hinge on childish sentimentality or social criticisms.

Manueal (played by an extremely convincing Hernan Ocampo) is unfortunate enough to live in a remote, mountainous area in rural Colombia that is constantly under siege by either the military or the FARC rebels who battle it out with each other for power. And although the area (near the border of Panama) is known for its scenic beauty, the war has turned it into a blood filled battleground of sorts, with death traps and dangerous mines dotting the landscape at regular intervals.

The constant battle between the military troops and the guerrillas is having its toll on the local families who start fleeing to other, much safer locations. And living in a rebel controlled area, it is hard for the remaining families to take the other side (of the military) or remain neutral.

Manuel’s father Ernesto (Hernan Mendez) faces the brunt of the opposition as well. As an earnest and stubborn farmer, Ernesto doesn’t like the rebels and hence does not attend their weekly meetings; an action that puts him and his family under their scanner and threats. And when Julian’s father (Antonio Galeano) gets kidnapped by the rebels, Ernesto’s tensions only multiply.

Manuel is oblivous to all these complications though. As an avid football fan, Manuel likes nothing more than playing the sport with his friends Poca Luz (Genaro Aristizabal) and Julian (Nolberto Sanchez). And Manuel’s new soccer ball is the current fancy of the group.

The Colors of the Mountains Movie Review - The Colors of the Mountains Story, Movie Review, Cast And Rating

While playing with his friends one day, Manuel accidentally kicks his new soccer ball into a deadly minefield which is literal strewn with the corpses of animals and humans who had ventured into it before.

And irrespective of the nature of his surroundings or the threat that lies ahead, Manuel is intent on recovering the ball at any cost. All he can think of is his new ball and he feels that everything will return back to normal once he gets it back safely. The rest of the movie shows him and Poca Luz attempt one comical mission after another to retrieve the ball from the mine field.

The screenplay is tight and sticks to the central plot instead of moving around here and there. The cinematography is impeccable and gives a wonderful view of the vastness of the beautiful surroundings which is pitted against the narrow options of survival for the town inhabitants.

As the young and effervescent Manuel, Hernan Ocampo is spectacular and enacts the extremely challenging role with utmost ease. As he contemplates one course of action after another to retrieve his ball, you get lost into his world of childish and yet unspoiled thoughts.

Our Verdict: ‘The Colors of the Moutain’ is a simple, thought provoking film that definitely needs to be watched for two reasons. One: the incredible performance of young Hernan Ocampo; and Two: the way in which the director manages to portray the world as seen by a child who knows no difference between wars or concords (a worthy lesson for adults I must say).

Director: Cesar Arbelaez

Cast: Hernan Ocampo, Hernan Mendez, Genaro Aristizabal, Nolberto Sanchez, and Antonio Galeano/h3>
 

Rating: 4/5

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