The Orphanage

2019

Drama

172
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 86%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 96

Synopsis


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August 4, 2020

Cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
829.09 MB
1280*720
Faroese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
90 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.66 GB
1920×1080
Faroese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
90 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by yusufpiskin 5 / 10 / 10

Afganistan

In writer-director Shahrbanoo Sadat's second feature, a young man who daydreams of action-packed Bollywood heroics finds himself in a considerably more dangerous position in real life: that of an orphan scraping by in Kabul at the end of the 1980s, with the Soviets maintaining control as the Mujahideen fight to take their land back. Part two of a planned five-part series that began with 2016's Wolf and Sheep - which, like this movie, premiered in Cannes' Directors' Fortnight - The Orphanage (Parwareshgah) is a small yet touching chronicle where innocent teenage boys fall prey to socio-political forces way beyond their control. Mixing historical docudrama and make-believe, the story is not exactly a tightly knit narrative, with an observant tone that has its nonprofessional cast oscillating between scenes of harsh reality and pure film fantasy. It should play more festivals after Cannes and nab a few art house pickups abroad, especially in Europe. Qodratollah Qadiri, who also toplined Wolf and Sheep and is poised to become Sadat's very own Antoine Doinel if the two keep working together, stars as Quodrat, a friendly streetwise teenager who makes a modest living reselling tickets to his favorite Bollywood flicks, which he himself sits and watches with wide-eyed appreciation. When he's rounded up by the cops and sent to a public orphanage, Quodrat's life shifts from a carefree hand-to-mouth existence to a stricter hierarchy ruled by bullies and overseen by a kindhearted administrator (Sediqa Rasuli). He soon befriends a group of boys who become his roommates, including the chess master, Masihullah (Masihullah Feraji), his nephew Fayaz (Ahmad Fayaz Omani) - the uncle and nephew are both teens - and the war-obsessed Hasib (Hasibullah Rasooli). Together, the four live through several Little Rascals-style adventures, forgetting where they are for the time being and enjoying themselves like any boys left to their own devices. Sadat mixes those scenes with Bollywood-inspired flights-of-fancy where Quodrat and his buddies lip-sync to gushy ballads or showcase the fighting skills of action superstars like Anil Kapoor. (In the press notes, the director explains how Bollywood movies were hugely popular in Kabul during the 1980s.) But those illusions hide a grimmer truth, with one boy going mad and locked up in a wretched psych ward, and another accidentally killed by leftover ammunition stolen from a Russian tank. As much as Quodrat can imagine movies in his mind, what he sees in the real world is far scarier: a place where orphans like him seem to be expendable. Sadat cuts a little too systematically between the reality and fantasy scenes throughout the narrative, which heads to some predictable places despite the unique setting. The most memorable thing about The Orphanage is actually not all the movie make-believe, which feels like a device used before, but rather the way it shows how life under Soviet rule could in fact be beneficial for boys in Quodrat's situation. This is most evident in a long sequence where the orphans take a trip to a summer camp in the Soviet Union, working on their Russian (which they are already learning back in Afghanistan) and partaking in various activities, as if they were regular kids and not orphans at all. Probably the most moving shot in the entire film is one where we see Masihullah's reaction after playing computer chess for the first time and beating the machine - it's a rare victory in an otherwise depleted life. Like Wolf and Sheep, Sadat shot the movie in Tadjikistan, mixing natural splendors with the starker institutional interiors. A grainy look makes the film feel like it was actually made in the 80s, adding to its historical authenticity. When, at the end, the orphanage risks tumbling along with the Soviet regime, you're left with the harrowing feeling that for Quodrat and his friends, it's out of the frying pan and into the fire..

Reviewed by khrystiayavna 3 / 10 / 10

Bollywood heros

War in Afghanistan, lonely children and their hiding places - an orphanage and Hollywood movies where you can get away from the cruelty around. Illustration by Christina CookThe Orphanage is the second film directed by Shahrbanoo Sadat. It was screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival. Last year's nominees for the European Film Awards including such films as And Then We Danced (directed by Levan Akin) and Oleg (directed by Juris Kursietis) were also featured in the above-mentioned Section at the 72nd Festival. Shahrbanoo Sadat's works intend to create a chain which has to consist of 5 separate films. Undoubtedly, the films that have already been made appear to be interconnected. Despite this fact, they are not inseparable. Each film can be viewed as an independent and multifaceted work of art. Qodrat, a young man who has lost his parents, is the protagonist of the film. He does not look like a tramp or an abandoned child trembling with fear. Qodrat is an entrepreneurial teenager who sells cheap key chains and, what is much more important, resells tickets for popular Bollywood movies at a triple price. Watching Qodrat getting by, we also see war-ravaged Afghanistan where people sincerely love Indian movies. When the Bollywood film is on, everyone is reverently watching yet another fight and even adult men dance to the beat of the vibrant music. All of us associate Bollywood with different movies, be it a famous Seeta and Geeta comedy-drama film, or a modern musical drama film Gully boy. Yet, it is always bright, colorful and with a happy end. All the turning points in The Orphanage are accompanied by the Bollywood movie excerpts, whose romantic nature not only helps to convey hopes and dreams of the heroes but also disguises their pain and frustration. Being caught scalping the tickets, Qodrat is taken to an orphanage. There he meets the same children as he is. Children who were left alone; the ones who just want to live as the heroes of their favorite films being able to easily overcome obstacles, being strong and unpredictable. However, the reality is different. The orphanage, as well as prison, has its own rules. There are different people who do not have much in common; people brought up cherishing different values. Still, the boy manages to find real friends who he spends endless sunny days with. They have a roof above their heads and hot food. The residents of the orphanage do not think much about the outer world which exists outside their shelter. They live here and now - make friends, dream, learn and misbehave. Director Anwar, both strict and just, maintain harmony and order in the orphanage. Even if you are just raising children, you cannot isolate yourself from the authorities and the war. You have to fit in, as the ones in power set the rules and responsibilities; they may support as well as punish. It is a heavy burden that lies on Anwar's shoulders. When the children are being taken care of by the Soviet Union, they learn Russian and even have a chance to visit Moscow. When the Mujahideen come to power, the rules in the orphanage change accordingly - new ideology, new textbooks, the new context of existence. The Orphanage is a film about lonely children whose world is destroyed by the war. Someone dies on the battlefield, someone stays in order to survive or just surrender a bit later. Even if you are a child, war can turn you into an adult in a split second.

Reviewed by dommercaldi 3 / 10 / 10

Unfocused, Far Too Slow-Paced, Irrelevant Sub-Plots, Uninteresting Characters, But Decent Cinematography And Hindu-Urdu Sing-A-Longs

Pros: 1. The dialogue is incredibly grounded and genuine, thus giving the conversations an air of realism to the adolescent boy interactions. 2. The cinematography is gorgeously scaled-back, again adding to the realistic feel. 3. The short intermittent sing-a-long scenes in Hindu-Urdu are exceedingly entertaining, bizarre, and eye-popping. 4. The film does a great job at highlighting the similarities between The West and pre-Mujahideen Afghanistan. Cons: 1. The movie is needlessly slow-paced and, at times, is a little bit of a chore to get through. 2. Most of the characters are unspeakably plane and uninteresting, with nothing to them (the exception being Qodrat (Quodratollah Qadiri) as he's shown to be thrifty, however that trait is shown early on and is then forgotten about). 3. The acting is generally really stale and uninspiring. 4. The script is unfocused, disjointed, and it often feels that the scenes are just jumping from one-to-the-next with little coherence. 5. There are copious sub-plots introduced, and then carelessly discarded with no resolution. With examples being, Qodrat's possible love interest, or the Russian military presence and Russian diplomatic ties to pre-Mujahideen Afghanistan. 6. The ending death of Anwar (Anwar Hashimi) falls resolutely flat as he's barely a character, and the death isn't set up at all. It also doesn't help that there's this strange sing-and-fight sequence straight after.

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