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What to know: Inspirating message, beautifully produced, introduces us to another culture while delivering a message about gratitude.
MARA PAPPA SUPERHERO (MY FATHER SUPERHERO) is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 12-18
96 minutes
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I love the inspirational message of Mara Pappa Superhero. The storyline has many twists and turns that kept me intrigued and eager to see the ending. This story is a feel-good film that families will love to watch together. Its only shortcoming is the beginning, which goes for a bit too long; everything after that kept my eyes glued to the screen.

The storyline is about a girl investigating whether or not her father is a superhero. She learns about superheroes from a friend and realizes that her father may be one, based on her friend's description. One day the girl gets into an accident, which affects her brain. She isn't able to move and her father spends his time becoming the real-life superhero that his daughter wanted to see in hopes of helping her regain her memories.

I love the originality and wholesomeness of the storyline. It is so inspiring story and teaches viewers many different lessons about family and love. The only part that was an issue for me is the beginning, which drags a bit. The camera work and coloring of the film are all high quality. Lots of effort and thought was put into shooting and editing this film and it shows. The coloring in the film impressed me as it is a major contributor to setting the moods for each scene. The costumes contribute to the theme of poor vs. rich by contrasting what is work in the two groups of people. The locations and sets also contribute to the poor vs. rich theme. The background music helps set the mood such as the lullabies that the parents sing to their daughter, which stands out to me because of how calming it is and its significance to the story. These lullabies are a major part of the plot and are a symbol of love in the family. The director (Darshan Ashwin Trivedi) and writer (Raam Mori) are to be commended; I absolutely love every aspect of the inspirational story that they created. The actors Bhavya Sirohi, Abhinay Banker and Shraddha Dangar have wonderful chemistry together and add to the authenticity of the film, playing the role of a family. The quality of the film is amazing and should play well on the big screen.

There are many messages in this film; the main message is to be grateful. The characters in the film already had so much, but they were greedy for more and then, things they had to begin with began to slip away. The film teaches the viewer to step back and enjoy all of the great things already present in their life.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. The film is so wholesome that it would bring happiness to everyone in the family. Children would also be able to learn a valuable message. Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST!

In Mara Pappa Superhero (My Father Superhero) The energetic 9-year-old girl, Kanku, captures our hearts with her joy of life and love for her father. We go with her on her journey of struggle to prove that her father is a superhero. Her personality is captivating, not only in her quest to convince her dad that he is her superhero, but also in her caring and empathy for her friend Jamburo, who was abandoned by his parents and made fun of at times by the other kids in town. The relationship she has with her mother can sometimes be tense, and the relationship with her friend Kiara who introduces her to superheroes, can be competitive. Kids in viewing this film will relate to Kanku's experiences.

Kanku is a young girl from the poor side of Ahmedabad, India, whose parents work and drop her off each day at a villa where her uncle works and where she has a friend, Kiara, who she spends time with. Kanku loves plants and gardens and prefers to spend her time outside tending to nature while Kiara is taken with a superhero TV show. Kiara gets Kanku to watch with her and she becomes interested in the idea that her father is superhero, just as Kiara explains that her father is a superhero to her. From there, we follow Kanku's willfulness to convince her father that he is her superhero.

I like the feistiness of Kanku and her determination to win over her father as superhero. However, as much as she had a closeness and love for her dad, her mom sometimes is shown in a very negative light. The portrayal of Kanku as Daddy's girl, to the exclusion of her mom seems a bit harsh. Also, when her parents laugh at her when they are introduced to the concept of superhero through photographs, it is disappointing that they aren't more understanding of her enthusiasm. Her act of jumping off the terrace of the villa in the hopes that her father rescues her raises concern of kids viewing this act and putting the idea into their mind to try something just as risky.

The location in India juxtaposes the poor side of town where Kanku's family lives vs. the affluent side of town where Kiara's family villa is and sets up the two families' differences. Kanku understands and appreciates Hanuman and Kiara loves the idea of a superhero. The set up each day of Kanku and her parents bicycling to the villa amplifies their differences. One of the scenes that struck me as terribly sad is when we see Kanku in a wheelchair, being pushed by her Mom with her father alongside them when she is in a vegetative state. They remember how animated she used to be and move her from wheelchair to the parent's bike. These setups make us yearn for a return to her old self.

The sets and locations of the town, seeing the parents selling their wares, the differences between the two kids' neighborhoods, and their fathers' performance all gave us a true picture of life in this Indian city. The father's performances as a superhero is unremarkable, however his heartfelt desire to impress his daughter and have her healed is very touching.

There was real chemistry between the father and daughter in their communication and interactions throughout the film. Bhavya Sirohi, as Kanku, really stands out. Her acting and expression are strong and I predict a long career ahead for her. As the main character, she carries the film well. I really enjoyed the exposure to the diversity, cultures and lives of the Indian people. Bhavya Sirohi's performance as Kanku is definitely a highpoint of this film. She is a gifted young talent. Her acting as a bubbly young girl and then as someone in a vegetative state shows her acting strength.

The message of the film is depicted by Kanku's desire to have a superhero father like her friend Kiara, which leads her getting into a very severe accident. Belief in superhero fantasies can cross a line and there is a limit to how far that can go. You should be aware that it does show kids doing risky things that kids might imitate. My concern that about the modeling of Kanku jumping off the terrace. This extreme behavior crosses the line and limits for appropriate behavior. Belief in fantasy can go just so far.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 13, plus adults. I would recommend a discussion following the screening. It's a great introduction to Indian life.

Reviewed by Terry S., KIDS FIRST!

Mara Pappa Superhero (My Father Superhero) is about a 9-year-old girl's struggle to establish that her father is a superhero. The film revolves around slum dweller Kanku, whose parents are street vendors. Kanku would stay with her uncle, while her parents would go to work. The uncle works in a villa as a create taker. Kanku is friends with the owner's daughter, 12 years old Kiara. Kiara is a cartoon fan and she loves watching Superhero cartoons on TV channels. On one such day, when Kanku comes to play with Kiara; Kiara tells her how much she loves Superheroes and that her father is a superhero. This thought strikes the mind of Kanku.
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