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How the cast and crew of Beyond The Clouds went 'Beyond Language' to understand Majid Majidi


The latest making video from the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker's upcoming film shows how the cast and crew overcame the language barrier with the director. 

Shriram Iyengar

The statement 'cinema has its own language' is a cliche that is often wasted, but with the Academy award nominated director Majid Majidi, it finds new meaning. The latest making video from the sets of the director's Beyond The Clouds (2018) is proof of how expression often trumps the language barrier between artists.

The video outlines the challenge the cast and crew faced when interacting with the Iranian filmmaker. The director, who speaks fluent Farsi, only speaks basic English and no Hindi.

Actress Malavika Mohanan says, "Initially, it would be a three people team. The actor, Majidi sir, and the translator." The actress went on to explain how with every response, she would have to look at the translator's response, then wait for Majidi to react.

However, as time went on, the crew slowly got used to the director's responses. As Mansi Dhruv Mehta, the production designer explained, "With Majidi sir, at least the initial times, I wouldn's say it was difficult, but it was more time taking to understand him. But eventually, by the end of the film, we all knew what he wants."

Sound designer Shajith Kayeri described it as 'watching a foreign language film which you still understand'.

This communication, however, was not limited to aspects about the film. Ishan Khatter, who is making his debut with the film, remarked, "After a certain point there is an understanding that gets built. We have had these personal conversations, even without anybody interpreting. Very minimalistic conversations, but very close to my heart."

Mohanan remarked, "While language is crucial and important for you to communicate technically, a lot of it went beyond that."

Revolving around the theme of humanism in the midst of strife and poverty, Beyond The Clouds will mark the Iranian director's debut in Hindi cinema. Considering his reputation as a director with a focus on humanism, Majidi's lasting impression on Khatter is quite understandable. The actor says of his conversations with the director: "He told me that I know you want to be a good actor, but that holds a certain value. Being a good human being comes above everything else. So, be honest, be sincere, be empathetic, and as an actor you will only have things to gain if you strive for these things."

Beyond The Clouds will be in the theatres on 20 April.