A BILLION COLOUR STORY – A Review By Nick Askam

 

As far as directorial debuts go, I would say this is a solid start for Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy (Paddy). There’s so much that goes into the process of making a movie especially when your budget is severally limited as in this case. I think it is so good that a movie of this type was even made in the first place. I think the conversations that are started in this film are necessary to be had in India and in the world. I think in a time where we are so divided, we need a message of people coming together.

Unfortunately, I’m not able to find a cast/ character listing, so I’ll have to use generic terms to describe the characters.

The story of this film is about a kid who’s colorblind and his parents are struggling filmmakers who have just recently returned to India. His dad is of Muslim heritage and his mom is of Hindi heritage. So together, they are a combination that isn’t that well-liked by most of the people that they came back to. A series of unfortunate events forces the family to move from their home into an apartment. This whole process reveals who racist or what is perceived to be racism felt by the family. The movie that is being made goes through even more budget cuts and eventually loses all its funding.

The father is an idealistic figure in this film. Almost too idealistic in my opinion. There were moments when he was tested and his views were changed. That was my favorite part of the film. The constant battle in his mind made his character super interesting. On one hand, you were rooting for him to be proven right. On the other, the cynical parts of your brain were saying, “Oh, I knew it”. It put his problem in full frame and was super interesting to see. As someone who is not familiar with what is going on, it was nice to see both sides and the way that the father character was used made it easier to understand.

The color in this film is interesting. It was nice to see that the lack of color was used to show that we don’t know what a Muslim color is or what color the characters are. After the film Paddy said that the lack of color was also used to explain that children don’t see the color. They can’t understand it like adults do. With the perspective being in the child’s point of view, I think it was nice to see the shift.

I think a problem was the lack of dramatic effect in the end of the film. I thought that it was building to something. Then I felt like the film ending with an element that I thought was a little too fake. I just felt like it left me with a feeling of wanting something more. Maybe it is the cultural difference between South Asian films and American films. I’m not quite sure.

The pacing is what holds this film back. It’s something that I think takes time. This film feels long. I hate to complain about the length, but it’s only 105 minutes. I straight up thought this was over 2 hours long. I must fault the constant feeling that the movie is ending soon, while trudging forward. The pacing needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, it takes away from the message of the film because the audience is more concerned about when the film is wrapping up rather than the message.

Overall, I think this is a good first attempt at directing a movie. I think there’s some obvious problems, but over time, they will all be resolved. I’m excited to see how Paddy grows and develops a director.

 

Grade: B-