“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”
The directorial debut from Chiwetel Ejiofor begins with a funeral where the minister recites the Gospel of Matthew, and ends with a funeral where the people receive the Islamic call to prayer. And, in the middle, is a moving story about the plight of a small village in Africa, where unpredictable weather patterns make the prospect of starvation a seasonal threat. Where the government is distant and opportunistic. Where courage is contagious. Where local customs breed loyalty and swim through the DNA of the village unity. Where women are strong and men are bound together in mutual affection. And, where education and the miracle of learning is put on full display. A beautiful family film that packs an emotional punch in the final round.
An engrossing, mundane day-to-day existence of two best men that digs into the richness of friendship and the unapologetic avarice of death. Ray Romano is something special here in his idiosyncratic struggles to support the end-of-life decisions of his best friend, while struggling with his inner demons of grief. The ideals of finding common purpose and happiness in the simple routines of life brings spirit to the cause of the human resolve. Love is an overwhleming force; and, in this film, we see how love and friendship can overcome the slow apathy of personal growth.
There is something to be said about the right recipe for filmmaking when its individual ingredients lackluster. Nothing in particular stands out about this film in its low budget production and plain script. And still, like those from 2018 like Private Life, 6 Balloons, Kodachrome, Paddleton is one of those emotionally challenging films that restores one’s faith in the quality of Netflix Originals.