Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
New SWITCHCast episode out now! Click to listen to interviews with 'Rockabul's' Travis Beard and 'Thunder Road's' Jim Cummings.x
review, The Breadwinner, The, Breadwinner, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Saara Chaudry, Soma Bhatia, Laara Sadiq, Shaista Latif, Ali Badshah, Noorin Gulamgaus, Kawa Ada, Ali Kazmi, Kane Mahon, Reza Sholeh, Nora Twomey, Animation, Drama, Family

THE BREADWINNER

★★★★

THE POWER OF STORYTELLING AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
27th May 2018

From executive producer Angelina Jolie and the creators of the Academy Award-nominated ‘The Secret of Kells’ and ‘Song of the Sea’, comes a new animated film, ‘The Breadwinner’, based on Deborah Ellis' bestselling children’s novel. While researching her book, the author spent several months interviewing women and girls in refugee camps in Pakistan (including a mother and a girl who disguised herself as a boy) and used these interviews as the basis of her depiction of life in Afghanistan.

‘The Breadwinner’ also marks the solo directorial debut for Nora Twomey, who co-directed ‘The Secret of Kells’ and worked on the story of ‘Song of the Sea’, in addition to co-founding Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny, Ireland (along with Tomm Moore and Paul Young).

In Kabul, a Taliban-ruled city, women are strictly prohibited to go outside during the start of 21st century. Parvana (voiced by Saara Chaudry), is a brave and resourceful young girl whose father, Nurullah (Ali Badshah), is falsely accused by a volatile young Taliban member, Idrees, and imprisoned for being a threat to Islam. Without a father to care for them, the family - which includes Parvana; her older sister, Soraya (Shaista Latif); their baby brother, Zaki; and their mother, Fattema (Laara Sadiq) - is left without any means to make money or even purchase goods in the market. When Fattema is beaten for being in the streets without a male chaperone, Parvana is forced by circumstances to be the breadwinner for her family, cutting off her hair to become Nurullah's nephew, Aatish. Parvana is befriended by Shauzia (Soma Chhaya), another girl who dresses as a boy, who mentors her in the ways of the streets. The two girls discover that “when you are a boy you can go anywhere you like.”

'THE BREADWINNER' TRAILER

The story of a girl disguising herself as a boy is a familiar one, seen many times in films like ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, ‘Albert Nobbs’ and countless William Shakespeare adaptations (like the Amanda Bynes-starring classic ‘She's the Man’, based on the play 'Twelfth Night'). However, ‘The Breadwinner’ takes a unique approach to the theme - Parvana doesn't wear a disguise in order to fight alongside dudes, like Miranda Otto’s Eowyn in ‘Lord of the Rings: Return of the King’, or to learn next to bearded blokes, as in ‘Yentl’, but simply to leave the house in order to feed her family. The movie emotionally captures the brutal, anti-women, anti-intellectual, and even anti-literacy stance of the Taliban regime. Women are pursued and assaulted for not covering themselves properly or being in public without a husband or father. Parvana’s perseverance under these unbelievably tense conditions is ultimately an inspiration for her beaten-down mother and sheltered older sister, who both manage to find steely cores of strength within themselves by the film’s end.

Another interesting facet of the film is Parvana’s commitment to carrying on her mother and father's love of traditional Afghani folktales and legends (Nurulluh believes deeply that “stories remain in our hearts when all else is gone”). This leads to a stylized story-within-a-story that Parvana tells her young brother Zaki about a boy named Sulayman who saves his village from the evil elephant king. Featuring skeleton ghosts and attacking jaguars, the story isn’t anywhere near as frightening as the mistreatment of people under Taliban rule. It’s also one of the weaker elements of the film, drawing the audience away from Parvana’s plight in the real world. Fortunately, Sulayman's story has an emotional twist which pays off during the film’s climactic moment, blending folklore with realism.

‘The Breadwinner’ takes a unique approach to the theme - Parvana doesn't wear a disguise in order to fight alongside dudes, like Miranda Otto’s Eowyn in ‘Lord of the Rings: Return of the King’, or to learn next to bearded blokes, as in ‘Yentl’, but simply to leave the house in order to feed her family.

The animation is beautiful. ‘The Breadwinner’ shares its predecessors’ vivid sense of a specific culture and strikingly visuals. It introduces us to a city of sandstone-hued houses where colourful flowers and teeming markets come convincingly to life, as well as vast deserts where rusted tanks are scattered like the fossilised remains of huge beasts. Cartoon Saloon’s signature animation style, focusing on eyes and facial expressions, allows you to empathize with characters in a very different way to watching actors in a live-action performance. There is something about watching a face express emotion with only a few lines of animation which makes a character universal and very easy to identify with. Composed by Academy Award winner Mychael Danna (‘Life of Pi’) and Jeff Danna (‘The Good Dinosaur’, ‘Storks’), the film's music is by turns playful, evocative, tense and haunting.

‘The Breadwinner’ received a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the 90th Academy Awards, but ultimately lost to Pixar’s ‘Coco’. It’s easy to see why - ‘The Breadwinner’ isn’t the type of light-hearted stuff you usually find in mainstream animated movies (not that Pixar doesn’t incorporate emotionally-driven story arcs in their films). ‘The Breadwinner’, however, is so gritty and "real" that it could have easily been live-action.

If you are looking for a heartfelt animated film that explores a foreign culture with surprising sensitivity and maturity, don't miss ‘The Breadwinner’ in cinemas.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 34m
CAST: Saara Chaudry
Soma Bhatia
Laara Sadiq
Shaista Latif
Ali Badshah
Noorin Gulamgaus
Kawa Ada
Ali Kazmi
Kane Mahon
Reza Sholeh
DIRECTOR: Nora Twomey
WRITERS: Deborah Ellis
Anita Doron
PRODUCERS: Anthony Leo
Tomm Moore
Andrew Rosen
Paul Young
Angelina Jolie
SCORE: Mychael Danna And Jeff Danna
thebreadwinner.com/
TheBreadwinnerMovie
breadwinnerthe?lang=en
thebreadwinnermovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion - An almighty family animation adventure
TRENDINGWIN ASTERIX: THE SECRET OF THE MAGIC POTIONAn almighty family animation adventure
Triple Threat - The world's biggest action stars combined
TRENDINGWIN TRIPLE THREATThe world's biggest action stars combined
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
TRENDINGTOP END WEDDINGOutback fantastic
Chasing the Jet Stream - A wild adventure at great heights
TRENDINGCHASING THE JET STREAMA wild adventure at great heights
Mean Girls - 15 years of fetch
TRENDINGMEAN GIRLS15 years of fetch
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
Her Smell - She's off the deep end, watch as she dives in
TRENDINGHER SMELLShe's off the deep end, watch as she dives in
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum - Third time's a charm
TRENDINGJOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUMThird time's a charm
The Captain America Trilogy - The finest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to 4K UHD
TRENDINGTHE CAPTAIN AMERICA TRILOGYThe finest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to 4K UHD
Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion - 60 years on, Asterix is as fresh as ever
TRENDINGASTERIX: THE SECRET OF THE MAGIC POTION60 years on, Asterix is as fresh as ever
The Heiresses - An escape from the gilded cage of privilege
TRENDINGTHE HEIRESSESAn escape from the gilded cage of privilege
Back of the Net - Misses the net, and then some
TRENDINGBACK OF THE NETMisses the net, and then some
The Drummer and the Keeper - Fun and sensitive but a little too safe
TRENDINGTHE DRUMMER AND THE KEEPERFun and sensitive but a little too safe
Dublin Oldschool - A flat and tuneless rave drama
TRENDINGDUBLIN OLDSCHOOLA flat and tuneless rave drama
Piranhas - Boys will be boys
TRENDINGPIRANHASBoys will be boys
Notting Hill's 20th anniversary - The essential romantic Richard Curtis
TRENDINGNOTTING HILL'S 20TH ANNIVERSARYThe essential romantic Richard Curtis
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir - An endearing tale of destiny
TRENDINGTHE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY OF THE FAKIRAn endearing tale of destiny
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders - Your new playmates
TRENDINGJACK LADDER & THE DREAMLANDERSYour new playmates
Little Woods - Trekking to society's outskirts
TRENDINGLITTLE WOODSTrekking to society's outskirts
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
TRENDINGTOP END WEDDINGOutback fantastic
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us