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A Passage to Ottawa (2001), NR
Analysis Date: January 30, 2002
CAP Score: 78
CAP Influence Density: 0.40
A PASSAGE TO OTTAWA (NR) -- an 8 year old East Indian boy ripped from his world...
Distributed by: TransVision Films
Director(s): Gaurav Seth
Producer(s): Rashmi Rehka, Rajendra Gupta, Gaurav Seth, Jameel Khaja
Written by/Screenplay: Jameel Khaja
Cinematography/Camera: Gaurav Seth
Sound: Wayne Bartlett
Editing: Gaurav Seth, Jameel Khaja
A Passage to Ottawa is a movie that exemplifies, as touched on by the Director, the beauty in something as simple as a leaf but when held up to the sun its beauty in intricate complexity is revealed. This first feature film by Rashmi Rehka and Rajendra Gupta from one perspective is a simple beautiful movie. From another, it is a beautiful simple movie. A movie of an uprooted boy's life "held up to the sun" with appreciable talent exploring a way an 8 year old boy might try to repair his shattered world.
Imagine yourself as an eight year old fatherless boy whose mother is dying; a boy who is uprooted from home and transported to the other side of the globe while your mother slowly dies. A Passage to Ottawa is a keen look at such a world through the eyes of a little boy. Nabil Mehta stars as Omi, an 8 year old East Indian boy ripped from his world and transplanted into the multicultural hub of Ottawa.
At the beginning of the film, a narrated cartoon explains that all heroes are from a great city at the mouth of a river. The great city of Ottawa is situated on the mouth of a river, so Nabil uses his adolescent reasoning to make his plans to find his hero in Ottawa. A hero to save his mother. From the great city on a river. It is all quite logical. To a boy. The purity and innocence is inescapable.
After the theme-setting cartoon we find Omi waiting at the Ottawa Airport to be picked up by his mother's uncle. Arriving at the home of his mother's uncle who is just "uncle" to Omi, Omi meets his mother's uncle's fussy wife and their arrogant teenage daughter, Safia. The uncle is anxious to make Omi feel welcome and happy. Safia is laden with the task of watching Omi while her parents manage things.
Omi's uncle learns that Omi's mother is dying of complications from tuberculosis. Omi has an idea what is happening but how well can an 8 year old understand his mother is dying. During the handling of Omi's luggage his uncle sprains his back and becomes bed-ridden for a while. Revealing the thinking patterns of an 8 year old boy who thinks his mother's sickness is his fault, Omi asks "Did I make you sick, too." And yes, in the way it is portrayed and the quality of the production, there is a definite sense of helplessness as Omi says that.
In a moment of solitude with Safia, Omi explains he must find a hero to take back to India to save his mother, just like in the cartoon. So, in spite of instructions to the contrary, Omi sets out on his own in the streets of Ottawa ... looking for a hero ... a hero big enough to save his mother since his mother told him he was too small.
After scrutinizing a couple candidates, Omi sets his focus on Roland, a small river tour boat captain. Omi had sat down to contemplate while feeding the ducks on the river near a boat Roland owns. Thinking the boy to be a trouble maker, Roland chases him off and nearly gets him hit by a car. Feeling guilty, Roland follows Omi to his uncle's home and explains what happened to Safia ... and a romance begins.
Some pleasant and beguiling east Indian flute, guitar and voice music blend the performances of Mehta and others well with the intended emotions. What was hoped we would feel was well orchestrated. The beautiful background of the densely flowered Ottawa gave a brightness to this movie. Though I am by no means an expert in making movies, it appears the filmmakers, cast and crew did an excellent job of mixing all they had available into a nice piece of work.
While this gentle and emotional movie has some things to say, some of the things it says might be invasively influential for teens and younger. Particularly, Safia is somewhat expressive about her sexuality. No nudity of any kind is seen, but sexual innuendo are present such as "You've got to know a guy before you ask him to go all the way with you -- er, to India." She had another comment about keeping her buried treasure [1Cor. 6:18]. Also from Safia comes several issues of arrogance against her parents' authority and lies to them. Indeed, Safia is largely responsible for the low score in Impudence/Hate [Prov. 30:12, Col. 3:8]. Though Omi spoke none, several examples of foul language dotted the script. Several additional issues of arrogance, unearned autonomy and other matters of freedom from accountability caused this movie to earn a warning with regard to potential influence on younger and impressionable viewers.
With a final score of 78, confidence is high this movie would have been rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America.
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*******Food for Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|