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HALKAA (PICHKU'S DREAM)

What to know: Beautiful film that opens up your awareness of the India culture as we follow Pichku pursuing his dream.
HALKAA (PICHKU
Recommended age 8-18
110 minutes
VIDEO
NIL AMADHAB PANDA
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HALKAA (PICHKU
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What a beautiful film that provides insight into the culture of India. The most appealing thing about this film is Pichku's kind nature and his will to achieve his dream. I believe that a child will appreciate how Pichku works hard to achieve his dream once he realizes that no one is going to provide it for him. The pace is a bit slower than many films but it is suitable to the storyline. It has easy to follow concepts and dialogue that most children will be able to follow. The cinematography is really well done and the music is delightful. There are some musical numbers that show off all the different locations to their fullest.

The story is really terrific. It follows Pichku, a young boy from the slums of India, an area so poor that they don't have indoor toilets so most people use the bathroom outside. Pichku is different from many of the other people from his slum in that he doesn't want to use the bathroom in public. So Pichku and another young boy decide to build a bathroom for the village. In order to do so, they have to raise money by working various jobs around town such as recycling trash.

I found myself rooting for Pichku because, once he sees that no one will give him the thing he wants most, that he decides to go after it himself. There are some scenes where the rich kids come down to the slums to see how the other half lives and they never make fun of Pichku and his friends. In fact, quite the opposite happens. There is a scene where Pichku and Gopi sneak into the rich kid's school and walk through the halls and they are absolutely awestruck. The only character that I didn't care for is Pichku's father. I know what they were going for, but in some parts it feels as if they drop the ball with him several times.

The cinematography is very well done, the background music is excellent and the locations are well chosen. They show both sides of the wage gap, from the small huts where Pichku and his family live to the clean interiors of modern buildings. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this film, except for perhaps how Pichku's father is portrayed.

The film is in Hindi with English subtitles. There is some mild cursing which they censor out in the subtitles. There is also a scene where a man is urinating but you do not see his private parts. This is exactly the type of film that the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival seeks to showcase. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to kids ages 10 to 18. The filmmaker is quite accomplished and has received some very prestigious awards for his work including one of the highest civilian honors of India, "Padmashree" in 2016, by the President of India. Reviewed by Angel U., and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.

This is a portrayal of eight-year-old, Pichku and all the questions about his basic existence as a child and his questions to adult. Growing up in one of the oldest slum in Delhi. His existence becomes more important, when he realizes, that he is a big boy (9 year old) now and cannot roam around naked. And the intolerant nose, which can't breathe the filthy smell of the community, where he lives! This realization leads to the unusual decision of not defecating in open, where it is a common practice every morning in his community on the railway tracks. The story is about a child's thought, translating and unfolding inner mysteries of the world in their own way and on their own terms. Pichku knows he lives in an isolation inside the community because he is different from the others. But he knows there is nothing called miracle. He himself has to do something to end this misery. All he realizes that he has to fight over it. From India, directed by Nilamadhab Panda
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