Starring James Norton , Daniel Lamont
Written & Directed by Uberto Pasoloni
Rating: **** ½
Not since….well since never. I can’t remember when, have I wept so much while watching a film. Certainly no Indian films in recent memory. Funny how our films have forgotten how to make us sad.
Set in quaint Northern Island, Nowhere Special is actually located in the human heart. It’s easy to say , this is a film about learning to cope with tragedy. But how do you teach a 4-year child to do that? How do you explain to him that his father is going to die? And who explains it to him when there’s just the two of them?
This is a set-up for a tearful mawkish grief-stricken manipulative film. Uberto Pasolini’s heartbreaking film is anything but manipulative or mawkish. It is gentle kind subtle and beautiful . It will break your heart into pieces,and then mend it again when finally it tells us that sometimes in life, there are no explanations for cruelty. Shit happens. Deal with it.
John tries. He is a 35-year old father, a window cleaner by profession, played with such a rich ruminative subtlety by James Norton, that we forget he is not the boy’s real father.And the 4-year old boy Daniel Lamont as Michael trying to figure out why his dad is so desperate to find another home for his beloved son, is a little treasure.Solemn and receptive. His on-screen chemistry with his screen-dad James Norton rings a hundred percent true. Every look of mutual understanding that the two “boys” exchange will break your heart.
There is a sequence where John dozes off on the sofa; the 4-year old Michael brings a blanket and struggles to cover his precious daddy…
Excuse me , while I sob some more.
It is a heartbreaking scenario, potentially bleak but miraculously alchemized into something magical and precious by the director’s determination to ensure that the predicament is never milked for emotions. There is no time for tears.A home must be found for Michael before it’s too late.
The potential candidates for Michael’s adoption are a motley bunch of the self righteous and consciously compassionate. It is very clear who will get to keep Michael after him. But it is never clear while God made such cruel plans for Michael. What had he done to deserve this fate?
And what have we done to deserve such a beautiful gentle treat of a film?