THE ORPHANAGE – A Review by John Strange

THE ORPHANAGE – A Review by John Strange

Going into this review process, I wasn’t sure what the plot of this movie was.  The description we were given was “The Orphanage is part of a five-part film series by Shahrbanoo Sadat detailing the history of Afghanistan based on Anwar Hashimi’s unpublished autobiography.”

The Orphanage is the story of Anwar Hashimi’s time in an orphanage after he is arrested for scalping movie tickets.  His life in the orphanage is more structured than he was used to but he does well there, despite the occasional incident.

This was during the time when Russia controlled Afghanistan, so we see how much their culture overrode the Afghani’s own ways.  The kids had to learn Russian because some of their teachers are Russian and all of the books appear to be in Russian (based on a scene later in the film).

The world for this young man actually gets better in the orphanage.  The director of the institution is a good man who tries to give the kids a good life.  The “head boy” is trash but karma catches up with him.

There are several odd bursts into Bollywood-style songs at important points in the story by our lead.  They are interesting but an odd addition to the film.

As a view of Afghanistan in this period, the movie works.  It is not an exciting film, but it does appear to be realistic.  After my initial doubts, I found myself enjoying it.  The rating I feel is fair is 4-stars.  It’s a good if a gritty film.


Director: Shahrbanoo Sadat

Cast: Qodratollah Qadiri, Sediqa Rasuli, Masihullah Feraji, Hasibullah Rasooli, Ahmad Fayaz Osmani, Anwar Hashimi

MPAA Rating: NR

Selig Rating: 4 Stars

Runtime: 90 Min.

Movie Site: THE ORPHANAGE (Parwareshgah) Official Site

Trailer: THE ORPHANAGE (Parwareshgah) Trailer

Release Date: March 2, 2021 (Amazon Prime)

Languages: Dari, Russian, Hindi – Urdu


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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