This film is very alien, dealing with a culture, a world that many of us don’t understand. I remember, as a kid, reading “In 80 days around the world,” and being scared when I read about the travels through India, where someone got burned alive (if I remember correctly). There’s several parts in this film too, with a type of cruelty that doesn’t quite fit the Christian morale, perhaps any morale.
Seeing the first part mostly through the eyes of a young child, adds to the adventure-like nature of the film, very similar to “The boy in the striped pyjama’s,” which I reviewed before. That kind of perspective makes it both more ok, I would guess, and induces a respect in the viewer for how brave kids can truly be. This is not a comedic film, though it has its moments!
A nice transformation from young boys to teen after the train-scene! Also, M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” is kind of the theme-song to this film.
End-conclusion: it wasn’t really my taste of film. There were some elements of “City of God” in it, the scary parts, and elements of very-very romantic movies—nothing comes to mind right now. Still, since it has by some been called the film of 2008, it should be watched and mentioned.