Watch Kids' Reviews of
MADAPPALLY UNITED

What to know:
MADAPPALLY UNITED is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 10-18
87 minutes
VIDEO
AJAY GOVIND
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MADAPPALLY UNITED cover image
The rich cultural threads woven together by director and writer Ajay Covind held my interest for the entire film. Together with a talented cast and crew, Covind captures the developing camaraderie of Indian children who are forming a cricket team. This film is precious, despite its slow pace and chaotic style, plus the story comes together at the end with totally feel good moments.

The film begins at a caf� with a clever owner rattling off statistics in an impromptu way. We learn that this is his schtick and a part of the story building in Madappally, a small rural Indian town. The local school has acquired cricket equipment and it is to be shared among the students. Each group forms a team and the premise is about how each kid and family calibrates the extent to which this matters. The values of the parents, the business community and the students themselves are similar to what we experience in the U.S. in some ways, and completely different in other ways.

There is much more going on in Madappally United than just a game. There are back room politics, putting commerce ahead of education, and fair play. There are unsympathetic fathers that restrict their children or scold their wives in fits of jealousy, wishing they were still kids with playtime. There are girls that are going to play with the boys and their families' reactions to "girl power." There is a sudden loss of life by a heartbroken businessman, at the same moment that he is cheated out of creating a community center for the children. In other words, as the log line states, the journey itself is the story.

The costumes are typical, Indian, every day wear, with girls in skirts, women in saris and burley men in cotton linen shirts. The settings range from upper class to poorer dwellings and the school sets the stage for competition and camaraderie to bloom. The music is magical. Anand Madhusoodanan underscores using strings, flute, percussion vocals and guitar. The feeling is Indian, but very modern. Cinematographer Tanweer Ahmed creates an invisible seam of daily life by including all eleven kids in many scenes, with parents added in their very long pre-game stroll to the playing field. I enjoyed how Ahmed creates compelling scenes such as one of the girls blowing soap bubbles while washing laundry. "It takes a village to make a film" is part of the ending title and I would add the Sisyphus Rocks Film team proves this point.

The message of this film is that change is inevitable, and the journey is the story of our lives.

I give Madappally United 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Nancy K., KIDS FIRST!

The rich cultural threads woven together by director and writer Ajay Covind held my interest for the entire film. Together with a talented cast and crew, Covind captures the developing camaraderie of Indian children who are forming a cricket team. This film is precious, despite its slow pace and chaotic style, plus the story comes together at the end with totally feel good moments.

The film begins at a caf� with a clever owner rattling off statistics in an impromptu way. We learn that this is his schtick and a part of the story building in Madappally, a small rural Indian town. The local school has acquired cricket equipment and it is to be shared among the students. Each group forms a team and the premise is about how each kid and family calibrates the extent to which this matters. The values of the parents, the business community and the students themselves are similar to what we experience in the U.S. in some ways, and completely different in other ways.

There is much more going on in Madappally United than just a game. There are back room politics, putting commerce ahead of education, and fair play. There are unsympathetic fathers that restrict their children or scold their wives in fits of jealousy, wishing they were still kids with playtime. There are girls that are going to play with the boys and their families' reactions to "girl power." There is a sudden loss of life by a heartbroken businessman, at the same moment that he is cheated out of creating a community center for the children. In other words, as the log line states, the journey itself is the story.

The costumes are typical, Indian, every day wear, with girls in skirts, women in saris and burley men in cotton linen shirts. The settings range from upper class to poorer dwellings and the school sets the stage for competition and camaraderie to bloom. The music is magical. Anand Madhusoodanan underscores using strings, flute, percussion vocals and guitar. The feeling is Indian, but very modern. Cinematographer Tanweer Ahmed creates an invisible seam of daily life by including all eleven kids in many scenes, with parents added in their very long pre-game stroll to the playing field. I enjoyed how Ahmed creates compelling scenes such as one of the girls blowing soap bubbles while washing laundry. "It takes a village to make a film" is part of the ending title and I would add the Sisyphus Rocks Film team proves this point.

The message of this film is that change is inevitable, and the journey is the story of our lives.

I give Madappally United 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Nancy K., KIDS FIRST!

As part of an event in their government school students are awarded sports kits. Little do they know that the chief guest at the ceremony, is falsely embroiled in a fraud land deal case that risks not only his reputation, but also his and his family's safety. The film follows one group of children as they head to play with their new cricket kit. Oblivious of the ominous occurrences around them, they learn that empathy, leadership, and sportsmanship are more important than bat-and-ball games. And that adults would gain much more if they would practice the values that they preach to children.
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