The Crow’s Egg is reminiscent of Slumdog Millionaire in many ways. It is the story of humanity rising from the slums and attaining a goal. For those of us (including me) who have not been to India and know little of the poorer side of India, it was real eye opener!
Little Crow’s Egg and Big Crow’s Egg (named after the eggs they take from a nearby tree) are two young boys living in the slums of Chennai. Their mother spends most of the family money paying for legal fees to get her husband, the boy’s father, out of jail. She and her mother-in-law struggle to keep the children fed and with a roof over their head.
The boys are normal boys, they want the things that all boys want. Near to their slums a new pizza place opens up and a celebrity opens it. They are mesmerised, and nothing will stop them in their quest to try pizza for the first time.
With determination and strength of character, the boys face many hurdles to get to the pizza. Fortunately, common sense and equality for all wins out in the end, or does it?
The stars of this film, two young newcomers, Ramesh and J Vignesh, are refreshingly real. They have an amazing sense of humour yet are able to play drama equally as well. The scene where the boys are trying to sell their pet dog to raise money almost brought me to tears.
Their pride and dignity has been forced upon them at an early age by their poor circumstances, the situation they face and how they try to solve it. Of course, they could not have achieved this level of acting by themselves. First time feature director M Manikandan certainly had the skill to get the best out of his actors and tell a story convincingly.
The boys are backed up by many fine Indian actors. Their mother, played by Iyshwarya Rajesh, brings to life the torment of a mother that has to struggle with a husband in jail and trying to do the best for her boys. There are many other excellent character actors, too many to mention.
The cinematography was stunning. The slums of India were beautifully filmed, particularly the slum rooftop scenes and the narrow lanes between houses.
The musical score complemented the filming matching every mood and providing a link to scenes.
The Crow’s Egg is definitely a must see if you enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The ending of the film is hilarious. I knew what the boys were going to say, but it was well worth hearing them say it!
Reviewed by Barry Hill
Rating out of 10: 10
The Crow’s Egg will be released on DVD on 24 March 2016. It is spoken in Tamil with English subtitles.